Some of you may have heard the interview on Cape Talk yesterday afternoon with Antonella. John Maytham mentioned an e-mail which triggered the interview and I thought it might be an idea to post what she wrote here on our page:14 minutes ago
I have lived in Welcome Glen amongst the baboons for 16 years now, and am a great lover of animals and the baboons. I and have always supported the baboons’ right to live where they have always lived.
But the situation has become more than critical - IT HAS BECOME UNBEARABLE!!!!!! It is getting WORSE and WORSE. The baboons are fearless, and are becoming more clever every day at gaining access.
The monitors are COMPLETELY INEFFECTIVE through no fault of their own - it is simply that it is impossible for them to prevent the baboons getting into our properties and into our houses.
THE BABOONS MUST BE REMOVED FROM THE PENINSULA - it has become the only answer to the problem. We are fed up of living under siege in our own homes - every time one hears the troop, running in a panic around the house, making sure all the doors are closed (and locked - as they know how door handles work), and any windows with no burglar bars, or with gaps too large to prevent the young baboons coming in, are also closed. I am so frustrated and feel powerless and vulnerable in my own home, where one is supposed to feel safe and relaxed after a long, hard day or week at work in this very stressful world we live in.
I have done everything that we have been instructed to do to discourage the baboons coming into my property, but they still persist.
A few months ago the whole troop gained access to my house in what was the worst raid in 16 years of living amongst them, causing thousands of rands worth of damage - and no, that is not an exaggeration. If you are interested I can give you list of the extent of the damage that was done. The young ones, especially, are extremely destructive - unpacking cupboards and throwing things around; in my worst situation it happened to be my very expensive Elna sewing machine and my binoculars, amongst so many other things.
This morning they pulled and pulled on my locked french doors until the very large piece of glass on the upper side of the door smashed, whereby they gained access causing total chaos and more damage. I am at work, and my son phoned me to tell me what had happened. He was sick in bed and is now in the pouring rain (which is now also pouring into my house through the large hole on the western weather side, where the baboons broke the window, trying to secure the hole with scraps of wood and black plastic bags, until we can get the pane replaced.
They also pulled and pulled on another old, closed window until they ripped the frame apart, and my son reports that it looks are though the glass is about to drop out of the frame at the bottom. This too will now have to be bolted to the frame, until such time I can afford to buy a new one.
THIS HAS GOT TO BE RESOLVED VERY URGENTLY - not with discussions and forums, and reports that sit on someone’s desk for an indefinite period of time, but NOW, before something really terrible happens, as this is very real in the lives of those of us living with baboons EVERY DAY, not just on the days that we complain or try to phone someone, but EVERY DAY.