Agence France Presse
Published — Wednesday 14 November 2012
Last update 13 November 2012 10:17 pm
CAPE TOWN: Baboons in Cape Town are being paintballed to drive them out of residential suburbs and stop them from pillaging homes and cars on brazen food raids, an official said yesterday. The animals are shot by monitors who shadow the city’s several primate troops, which are notorious for causing havoc in areas bordering their natural mountain habitat.
“It does work, it’s actually fantastic,” said city veterinary scientist Elzette Jordan. “They hate it so much, so when they just see you with it and you shake it and they hear the paintballs rattling inside, then they move off already, and you don’t actually have to shoot.”
The paintballs are being used alongside other aversion techniques while a baboon management road map is drawn up. Paintballing is the most common technique and its success is attributed to the apes not liking projectiles being hurled at them.
However, some street-wise animals have learned to spot white paint and duck when it is fired, forcing monitors to use more colorful options.