Cape Town cautions homeowners over baboons

City seeks to create "baboon-free" residential areas in the suburbs.

Cape Town has issued the city's suburban residents with guidelines to help avoid homes and gardens being ransacked by baboons during the festive season when traditionally additional household waste is generated.

Residents are advised not to feed baboons, to warn neighbours when baboons arrive, and scare off the animals by making loud noises, spraying water and throwing small stones in their direction, and to use baboon-proof bins, supplied by the city.

Other advice includes putting rubbish out for collection at the correct time, installing bars on windows, never feeding pets outdoors, and ensuring that fruit trees and vegetable gardens are either secured by a cage or surrounded by electric fencing.

As part of the campaign the city has set up a "baboon-hotline" so residents can alert officials when baboons arrive in town, by calling 0715886540.

Baboons should be treated with caution and authorities have warned that it is a crime to injure or kill the animals which are protected in the Western Cape since 1974.

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