Cape Town – In the battle between baboon and the City, Kataza the baboon received after his supporters put up a fierce struggle to return him to his troop.
Weeks of silent protests, petitions, steady social media posts and threats of courtroom motion in help of Kataza being returned to his authentic troop, from which he was forcefully eliminated, lastly noticed the City relenting.
It stated: “Kataza’s return will be done in accordance with the approved guidelines for baboon management and will take place as soon as practically possible. In the interest of the baboon troop and public safety, no members of the public will be allowed in the vicinity of the area when the capturing is taking place.”
Southern African Faith Communities’ Environment Institute director Francesca de Gasparis stated: “We were thrilled to hear that the City has finally decided to return Kataza back to his original troop. It is long overdue. However, it also seems as if this decision was directly linked to the court case that was taken out against the City.”
Lawyer Ryno Engelbrecht, who took the City to courtroom, agreed to withdraw an utility to the Western Cape High Court. “We are not sure if this is just a response to litigation or if it is being done from a true change of heart on baboon management. The City’s statement did not address the much wider issue that Kataza has been symbolic of, including our concerns.”
Gasparis stated it was nonetheless not clear whether or not the City has totally taken on board the residents’ issues on how baboons had been being managed across the peninsula and whether or not they had been dedicated to being extra clear.
Environmentalist and anxious citizen Chantal Carstens-Luyt stated: “It is wonderful that the City finally made this decision and it is hopefully not too late for Kataza. I hope the City will afford him the same amount of time to settle with his original troop before building up a ‘rap sheet against him again’.”
Take Kataza Back Home petition creator, with greater than 30 000 supporters, Daina De Agrela stated: “This is a vital next step to ensure that what has been done to Kataza is never allowed to be perpetrated… again.”