Baboon Security Measures

Is your home baboon-secure?

Baboon on my veranda

Baboon on my first-floor veranda

I’ve heard many people in our area and elsewhere complain over the years about how their homes have been trashed by visiting baboons and how they have lost a whole week’s groceries in the process, not to mention the faeces the unwelcome visitors sometimes leave on the beds and carpets as their Thank You visiting card.

One was particularly bad down the road from us in Kommetjie, where the owner was not at home and had left a first-floor window slightly open. Apparently, a whole troop of baboons ran amok as described above, and even tore curtains to shreds.

So, although baboons can be amusing at a distance, they can also be a huge nuisance if we don’t take suitable precautions. (I’ll tell you below what security measures we have taken in our small, rustic home.)

 

Our own baboon encounter

(or skip to the security measures we put in place)

One day I looked up from the couch and saw the bedroom door handle being turned slowly from the inside to open the door. This was a bit odd, seeing that there was no one in the bedroom at the time (Helga was with me in the lounge). The next thing, a huge male baboon strolls into the lounge as if he owns the place. He had entered through a fanlight window in a closet off from the first-floor bedroom.

I jumped up and we excitedly told at him to get out! He just continued and brushed right past me on his way to the kitchen, with me in hot pursuit. We then both told him to get the hell out. He jumped up onto the kitchen counter-top, grabbed a canister of muesli and headed out through the first-floor¬† kitchen window. With a loud thump he landed on the roof of the car (and dented it badly) and made his way onto the roof next door, where he sat and nonchalantly ate ‘his’ muesli.

David next door had a similar experience around the same time, and he and Mr Baboon played tug-o’-war with a glass cereal bottle in the kitchen. When the fangs came out David let go and Mr Baboon left via the front door and soon smashed the glass jar on the brickwork. He had entered through the glass sliding doors on the first-floor veranda.

 

Securing the windows

After that we had another close encounter, at which time I decided to put an end to this and create some peace of mind. I went down to the hardware store and bought the following for wooden-framed windows:

  • A length of chain, cut into several short lengths — enough for each wooden-framed window in the home
    • Each chain is secured at to the wall-mounted window-frame — e.g. with a strong screw.
    • The other end hangs loose, to be threaded through an eye-ring screwed onto the window’s frame.
  • One eye-ring (closed cup-hook) for each window –screwed into the window’s frame
  • One spring-clip for each chain to secure the chain to the window’s eye-ring. This would also enable us to un-clip the chain if we wanted to open a window wider at night


 

Securing the sliding doors

All we did here was find some old skirting-board, cut it to the right length and rest it on the rail of the sliding door, at the end to which the door opens (see above).

Now we have permanent peace of mind and have no concerns when baboons suddenly appear unexpectedly.

 

Refuse protection measures

We make a point of never leaving any food outside, whether inside or outside the refuse bin — except on refuse collection day.

 

Tips from ‘Baboon Matters

  • To keep baboons out, any secured window or door must not be open by more than 8 cm.
  • Never look straight in the baboon’s eyes, especially if you have been startled and your eyes are wide open. They interpret this as a sign of aggression and could invite an ‘unfriendly’ response.
  • Try not to grin or show your teeth; this too is seen as a sign of aggression.
  • If you do happen to encounter baboons inside your home, make sure they have an easy escape route (e.g. open a door or window) otherwise they will feel trapped and that can lead to an undesirable encounter.
  • Baboons return to their mountain homes for the night, so night time they would not be in the neighbourhood and the coast is clear for humans to have baboon-peace and enjoy the mosquitoes instead.

 

Suggestions?

Feel free to add your comments and any suggestions below.

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