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Thursday Jun 07, 2012

Baboons troop in and out of homes at will

Pringle Bay security companies are ready to throw in the towel in their long-standing battle to cope with banditry in the picturesque area - and residents are boilingly angry.

A baboon searches for more food after helping itself to breakfast at a Pringle Bay home two weeks ago.

With more than a 130 house break-ins directly related to baboon vandalism and theft in three months, residents are rather chimped-off.

In one of the most recent incidents, Plattekloof resident Jaclyn Everitt, her husband, their 18-month-old daughter and two other couples went for a weekend away at her parents' holiday home two weeks ago.

"We went to spend a relaxing weekend away with our friends. My father had been there the day before and warned us that the baboons were causing havoc. The next morning, while the guys were getting ready to go surfing, a baboon managed to run past them, up the stairs and on to the balcony," she said.

Everitt said after they chased the baboon away, it appeared to be sitting in front of the house watching them.

"Ten minutes after the guys left, we heard thumping sounds on the roof. I immediately ran to lock the sliding door when I remembered that we had left a bowl of oats on the table outside. Before we knew it, there were five baboons," she said.

Fearing for their safety, Everitt, her daughter, and two friends locked themselves in a room.

"We suddenly heard bowls breaking in the kitchen and loud barking as if they were fighting. I phoned my father who phoned the security company to assist us. The noise they made was so loud we were so scared, especially for my daughter. The security arrived with mace and a stick 15 minutes later and it took about 30 minutes to get the baboons out," Everitt said.

They emerged from the room to what appeared to "resemble a crime scene".

"There was food everywhere. One of the baboons had even defecated on the floor and bed in the main bedroom. There were blood stain trails everywhere because the security hit a big male baboon on his mouth after it had tried to attack him," she said.

Everitt said her daughter was still traumatised.

ASK armed response area manager Wayne Krieger said they responded to an average of three to four baboon-related calls every day.

"The baboons are really out of control and there is nothing we can do about it," he said.

Overstrand councillor Lisel Krige said a group of residents have volunteered to form part of a baboon action monitoring group.

"We are having a meeting at the moment to get permits from Cape Nature for the group. The municipality did not have the budget to hire additional workers, so these residents will monitor refuse removal and other aspects that attract these rough baboons."

Cape Times

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