Ballito residents debate monkey problem
3 mins read

Ballito residents debate monkey problem

Read all our readers’ answers here.

Dena-Maree De Grooth – Install monkey screens. Honestly, they’re the best thing we’ve ever done. They can now move around our property without coming into the house. They seem to know they can visit, but then they leave pretty quickly.

Audrey Gersbach-Fourie – Don’t cut down trees on the roadside. I see so many people who buy houses and the first change they make is to cut down trees that are a source of food, and then they wonder why monkeys are attacking their houses. Trees also help keep gardens cool, especially in the hot, humid summer months.

Jessica Dench – Hide food. If there’s no food to see, they won’t come in. Don’t throw leftovers in the bin. Instead, compost them or throw them in the garden. That way, they won’t rip open the bin bags.

Kim Compton-James – Install magnetic locks on kitchen cabinet doors. Locks are not visible from outside the door.

Janet Macgregor Naude “We had to cut down some trees that provide food for the monkeys. So I replace that by putting out food for them away from the house. I don’t feel any aggression from them towards me or my dogs and cats. I have ladders on my windows and doors with screens. I like watching them interact and play in my garden. It’s a privilege.”

Bertram Smith – Where I live there were no monkeys, now we have about five units in this area and the problems are increasing. Imagine in a few years we will have another 3 or 4 units, all because people feed them.

Brendan Smith – Stop feeding them. By feeding them, you are creating a habit (losing fear of humans), and that is where all the problems arise. If the monkeys associate humans with food and lose fear of humans, then conflict arises. If you want to “feed them”, plant native fruit trees in your garden.

Christina Momos-Osborne “When people say we’ve invaded the homes of animals, where do these people think we, humans, should live? That’s a serious question. All I hear is how we’re destroying their habitat. Every house was their habitat. So what should we do?”

Carol Booth (Rescue and wildlife rehabilitator at Monkey Helpline) It would be great if resolving the “humans vs. urban monkeys” conflict were as simple as packing them up and moving them to an idyllic natural paradise. But things aren’t that simple. Monkeys have strong territorial bonds, and moving a herd is a complex and risky undertaking that can seriously disrupt social dynamics. While some males naturally leave their herds to find mates, related females stay together for life—so moving one usually means moving them all. Vervet monkeys are a widespread species, found throughout southern Africa. But their numbers are certainly not “breeding uncontrollably.” While more research is needed to determine exactly what is happening to their populations, we do know that these animals face a range of threats from humans.

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