|Last alpha male (not) standing|
Carpenter, the last adult male baboon of the Da Gama Park fission troop, has been killed.
Cape Town - The death of Carpenter – the last adult male in a splinter Chacma baboon troop in the southern suburbs – has again turned the spotlight on the city’s processes in dealing with wandering baboons.
Baboon activists have expressed concern about the impact further baboon deaths at the hands of humans could have on troops and their numbers.
Carpenter was euthanised last week at the Lewis Gray Dam.
Julia Wood, the city’s manager for biodiversity management in the Environmental Resources Department, confirmed that “the euthanasia of a habituated raiding baboon took place on the Cape Peninsula”.
Baboon rights activists have confirmed that it was Carpenter.
His death follows that of Peter, another alpha male, who started the Da Gama Park fission troop in 2008 and was killed in August by the city.
Activists say that removing the males compromises the females and the young – leaving them leaderless and vulnerable.
One of the objections when Peter was euthanised, was that he had been shot in the head. But the SPCA said it is a humane way to kill an animal.
Wood said the euthanasia was performed to reduce the frequency and severity of raiding behaviour by Chacma baboons on the peninsula.
The city has defended its decision to put down baboons – saying the constant raiding posed a threat to residents of Tokai and Scarborough.