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article imageDrunk baboons cause trouble in Cape Town

By Lynn Curwin     Aug 30, 2010 in Environment
Cape Town - Baboons are raiding kitchens, damaging buildings, throwing things at people and killing animals in South Africa – and sometimes, they’re drunk.
The baboons around Cape Town are eating grapes from the vines at the local vineyards. Some eat fruit which has fermented in the sun, and the monkeys end up drunk.
“They are not just eating our grapes, they are raiding our kitchens and ripping the thatch off the roofs. They are becoming increasingly bold and destructive," The Telegraph quoted Jean Naude, general manager at Groot Constantia vineyard, as saying.
Banging sticks, waving plastic snakes, and blasting a vuvuzela have not been effective in deterring the primates.
The animals are also going into the nearby suburb of Constantia, and some residents say they can no longer leave windows open.
Last week, a 12-year-old boy found baboons going through the kitchen cupboards in his home. When he went upstairs the animals followed and threw fruit at him while he called his mother.
There are about 20 people working full-time to protect the baboons and to keep them away from residential areas.
Chickens, geese, peacocks and a Great Dane have been killed by baboons during the past few weeks.
"Where there's a mountain, there's a baboon," The Telegraph quoted Justin O'Riain, of the Baboon Research Unit at the University of Cape Town, as saying. "As we take up more and more of their land, the conflict increases."
Before they were protected by law, baboons who caused trouble were often killed or injured by local residents. Those which repeatedly get into trouble are now humanely destroyed.
In July, a male known as William, who was about 14 years old, was trapped and put down after causing damage in Scarborough.
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