Rescuing a juvenile baboon from a snare

Environmental Education, Urban Baboon Programme – Joselyn Mormile

Last week while cycling in the mountains above Constantia, a member of the public spotted a juvenile baboon from the Mountain Troop with a wire wrapped around its neck.

The Mountain Troop spends most of their time in the mountains away from the urban edge and as such does not have a permanent NCC ranger team with them. The likelihood of catching sight of this baboon in need of assistance would have been quite low without the keen eye and swift alert from the concerned cyclist.

The NCC team rushed out to assess the situation and found the juvenile with a tight wire around her neck. She was with the troop, foraging and moving well, but the wire required urgent removal. Early the next morning, the team with the assistance of a veterinarian, baboon rangers from Buitenverwachting and a bit of luck, safely captured and anaesthetized her. The wire was removed and was confirmed to be in fact be a snare. The snare had been in place for a short period of time and aside from some facial swelling had not yet caused any significant damage. She was given a clean bill of health and was successfully returned to her troop later in the day.

Snaring is illegal

There has been a dramatic increase in snaring activity in the Cape Peninsula. Just since the start of NCC’s contract in October, we have had three incidents involving snared baboons. The previous two baboons were unfortunately not as lucky and were discovered after agonizing deaths.

Snaring is an illegal hunting method used to catch food. In our area the main target animals include porcupine and guinea fowl. Snares are frequently set at holes in fences to catch these animals as they pass through the fence line. However, snares are indiscriminate and often maim and kill many other species of wildlife in addition to their intended targets.

We need your help. The next time you are out for a walk in the mountain, keep your eyes peeled for snares. Please also collect any lose wire which can entangle wildlife. If you spot a snare, please take photographs and a pin location before removing it and share this information with us as soon as possible so we can report it to the relevant authorities.

Please note: We do not know where or by whom this snare was set. The Mountain Troop moves between Porter Estate and Donkerboskloof in the Constantia area.

We want to thank Buitenverwachting for accommodating us whilst the baboons were on their property and for the assistance of their baboon rangers.


If you spot a baboon, or any wild animal with a snare, please phone our hotline urgently: 071 588 6540.

For any questions or queries email:

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