This Article was written by Jenny Stark reporting back from the Survey carried out in 2000-2002
Baboon Education and Awareness Programme (BEAP)
Article extracted from the Rooiels Breeze 2001
“People are the problem, not the baboons…”
“I’m not prepared to live behind bars…”
“The baboons were here first…”
“It’s only a matter of time before a child is hurt or killed…”
“If people don’t like the baboons, let them live somewhere else…”
These are only some of the comments which spice up social gatherings in Rooiels. Amusing at first, I felt compelled to take things more seriously after rumours of baboons shot on three different occasions in the Rooiels area during 2000. Since there seemed to be numerous legends but few facts, I decided that the place to start would be to scientifically document facts relating to the Rooiels baboons and their interactions with humans in our community.
The object of the study is to collect and document as much information as possible with a view to launching an education and awareness programme to teach residents, visitors (and perhaps baboons!) how all citizens of the Kogelberg Biosphere may live in harmony.
In December 2000 Koos Smit, Evette Weyers and Drika Wilkens helped me hand out questionnaires to all occupied houses in the village. Margaret Hensen kept copies available in the Village Shop for anyone we missed and also for visitors.
To date we have received 113 completed questionnaires, 90 from property owners and 23 from visitors. … Analysis of the data so far received from property owners has revealed some interesting facts.
Baboons enter our homes for fruit (56% of hits) with bread running second (38%) in the favourite human food stakes.