Kataza the baboon finally returned to Slangkop [photos]

Kataza was separated from his family and relocated by the City of Cape Town more than two months ago. Thousands of people felt that the City showed little regard for Kataza’s wellbeing.

He had to endure inhumane isolation, which motivated Ryno Engelbrecht to form a legal team and challenge the City. A court application was then launched to return him to his natal troop.

What happened to Kataza?

Kataza’s story created a social media storm when he was relocated to join the Zaanswyk troop back in August. Kataza reportedly began to inbreed which compromised the welfare of all members in his troop.

At the time, Kataza was left to roam the streets of Tokai and in constant danger of being hit by a motorist. This led to a group of volunteers known as “Angels” looking out for him on a daily basis.

They would keep track of the baboon’s movement and noticed that he wasn’t foraging for food. Instead, Kataza was eating from trash cans in the neighbourhood which were not “baboon-proofed”.

Being shunned from local baboon troops meant Kataza slept alone most of the time. Following a meeting with Engelbrecht’s legal team, the City issued a letter stating CapeNature would be brought on board.

As reported by Good Things Guy, the CapeNature vowed to return Kataza to his home troop in Slangkop, Kommetjie, while ensuring “that proper baboon management is a key focus in the future”.

“Kataza will be returned following the approved guidelines for baboon management. They hope to get him home as soon as possible. He will be captured, checked over by the vet and given any medical care needed before reintegrating with his troop”.

Tyler Leigh Vivier, The Good Things Guy

d02ae683 kataza baboon 4 - Kataza the baboon finally returned to Slangkop [photos]
Image via Facebook: NCC Environmental Services

According to Baboon Matters Trust, a non-profit organisation who has served as a “voice for baboons” for nearly three decades, the three main areas were covered in negotiating Kataza’s return:

  • the legal route
  • the lobbying and advocacy route
  • the long term future

Lobbying for Kataza

In addition, Baboon Matters and Baboons of the South continued to work behind the scene by advocating and lobbying for Kataza. The organisations formalised a task team to resolve baboon management issues.

“It has often been a lonely fight to save baboons, so I have been particularly encouraged by the active participation from so many people who stood up for Kataza”.

Baboon Matters Trust

Back home

They explained that Engelbrecht “tackled the legal route and instigated the pivotal process”. Baboon Matters also confirmed on Thursday 12 November that Kataza successfully returned home.

The City of Cape Town confirmed that the SPCA’s senior inspector and veterinarian were on site to monitor Kataza’s capture and release. As per a statement released by CoCT:

“The City can confirm that he was found to be fit and healthy prior to his release. As stated before, upon his release, SK11 (Kataza’s) previous raiding record will not be considered in future decisions. This is in an effort to give him a fair chance to adjust to his natal home range, namely the surrounding mountains in the Kommetjie area”.

The City also called upon members of the public to refrain from following Kataza now that he has been released. Instead, allow him space and time now that he returned to his Slangkop troop.

Also read: Wildlife documentary series to be filmed on SA’s Marion Island

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