Baboons Wreak Havoc In Drought-prone Binga, Hwange
Baboons are giving people in Hwange and Binga Districts a torrid time as they break into homes through windows and rooftops while searching for food.
The baboons also attack women and children and snatch their satchels.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) is struggling to curb the baboon menace as traditional methods to stop them are proving ineffective.
Speaking during an interview with VicFallsLive, Zimparks Matabeleland North regional manager Samson Chibaya said they have embarked on an exercise to capture the baboons but it is proving to be difficult. He said:
Baboons are a perennial nuisance in Hwange urban and other areas such as Binga and Victoria Falls.
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They cause damage in hotels, lodges and homes and their behaviour includes the destruction of property and taking food from kitchens, off the buffets and tables.
Capture and translocation are no longer effective because the baboons no longer come to the baits.
Shooting is also ineffective as the baboons are so elusive and flee once they see armed people in uniform.
They are (also) territorial, once a troop is wiped out another different one quickly moves in within a week or two.
Chibaya attributed the increasing cases of human-wildlife conflict in urban areas such as Hwange to poor refuse disposal and climate change. He said:
Poor solid waste management is another factor as baboons are attracted to leftover food and edible waste.
Most raids in residential areas happen where houses are not manned, and sometimes in the presence of children and women.
Ecologically, most of the areas around towns have no food and fruits for baboons, hence (they) rely on waste from residential areas.
The problem worsens during the hot and dry season when food is less available.
Hwange town is surrounded by areas with a high population of wild animals such as the Hwange Colliery Concession, private farms, state land and protected areas under Zimparks and this means that animals such as baboons stray into residential areas, Chibaya added.