Baboon Matters Trust - baboon conservation in South Africa


For more than 25 years Baboon Matters has been at the forefront of baboon conservation  – in the face of ever-increasing urbanization and intensive agriculture, and the resulting escalation in baboon/human conflict.

“Baboons could not, surely, have a more passionate advocate. Baboon Matters is doing so much to help both baboons and people.”

 – Jane Goodall

Throughout South Africa baboons are in crisis.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that their numbers are declining – the result of their low conservation status, and a society which sees them as problematic and expendable.  Many thousands are killed around the country each year under cruel and inhumane conditions.

Will you help us create awareness for their plight and put your  #HandsUp4baboons?

In a funding environment where baboons are not considered a conservation priority, Baboon Matters relies purely on the support of the public to carry out its work.


In a funding environment where baboons are not considered a conservation priority,

Baboon Matters relies purely on the support of the public to carry out its work.



We cannot continue advocating for the ethical treatment of baboons around the country without financial support.

Your once-off or monthly contribution, or bequest in your will, can aid our fight for a future for baboons in South Africa.

Please consider supporting us.

Add Baboon Matters Trust as a Charity Beneficiary on your existing MySchool card, or join the program. Because every swipe counts and every cent helps!


Baboon Defenders are a commited group of supporters who stand with us as a voice for baboons. All we ask is that you do what you can, when you can.

On occasion we may ask for your help – whatever it is, it will be what is truly needed, right when it’s needed most!

We are thrilled to announce our partnership with the baboon-friendly people at Ayama Wines, who are generously donating R30 from the sale of each bottle of wine in their premium Baboon range to Baboon Matters.

Wine may be ordered directly from Ayama.  This is a real win-win:  Support Baboon Matters and enjoy some award-winning wine at the same time!

What to do - there are baboons in my home!

What to do if a baboon enters your home?

Stay calm!  He will not hurt you unless he feels threatened or cornered.

Make sure he has an exit route like an open window or door.

If you have dogs, lock them out of the way.

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What to do - there are baboons in my home!

About Walking Tours

Although a change in policy by the City of Cape Town resulted in our Walking Tours with Baboons being stopped in 2011, we still get regular requests for these tours.  Our Walks were incredibly popular, and many hundreds of people developed a deeper appreciation for baboons as a result, but we are unfortunately not allowed to offer them anymore.

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Just to give Simon's Town people a heads up that the local troop is in the Naval Dockyard and has been seen scampering along the roof of the three story barracks and outside the Diving School dock. Hopefully the Navy will learn to secure their rubbish which must be the attraction. ... See MoreSee Less

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Baboon Matters updated their cover photo. ... See MoreSee Less

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We made some new friends at Woolworths in Noordhoek this weekend! ... See MoreSee Less

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So this lovely boy was visiting constantia uitsig. Noticed he has a rather bad cut on his left arm. Thought would share. Perhaps he needs help? ... See MoreSee Less

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I like tham u see playig ther is nithg wrog ... See MoreSee Less

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Report back on our trip to Knysna

The scale of the devastation in the Knysna area is unprecedented, with around 120 square kilometers of vegetation turned to dust in the worst fire the region has experienced since the mid-1800’s. What is also unprecedented is the level of concern from residents about the impact this disaster is having on wildlife whose homes and food sources have been obliterated. A number of initiatives have been started in the area to assist wildlife, and during our short visit we met one group, Eden be Needin’, which is being driven by a group of passionate, organized and informed young people who are collecting and distributing food in the area. It was incredibly moving to see how committed this team is, and their goodwill towards creatures great and small was palpable.

Cape Nature, who have recognized that this is an exceptional situation, have advised that feeding should be seen as supporting the animals, rather than saving them. All manner of animals will be seeking food, from civets to caracals to birds of prey, and yes, baboons.
The wildlife will typically gravitate to greener areas, and those areas may be human residences or farm areas. The idea of the supplementary feeding will be to encourage wildlife to move away from human settlements and remain in areas where pockets of unburnt forest may still exist. To support wildlife staying wild, residents are encouraged to take precautions to protect their livestock and properties; predators may try and feed off chickens and certainly a wide variety of animals will attempt to feed off crops, so an important consideration in this period will be that humans will need to reduce easy food availability on their properties.

In order to minimize the risk of wildlife becoming habituated and dependent on humans for food, we encourage people to follow these guidelines:

· Assess situations on a case-by-case basis before feeding. You may think the animals have no food but they are adaptable and there are still pockets of green that will provide food. There has been some rain, and more forecast, so we anticipate that some re-growth will happen quickly and re-growth after fires is typically high in nutritional value. If you are absolutely certain that there are no other options available, then we suggest the following:
· Stick to food that is part of animals’ natural diet – fruit, veggies, seeds, nuts, grains etc. (Please do not feed with fruits and veggies that regrow easily - e.g. tomatoes)
· Ideally feed at night, or as late in the day as possible, so there is less association of humans with food
· Feed as far away from human settlements as possible, and away from roads where the animals may be injured
· Keep moving feeding stations, if possible towards green areas where there may still be natural forage available
· Spread food out, rather than placing it in one big pile, so that natural foraging behavior is encouraged
· Mix it up – less food one day, none the next, a bit more the following day etc.
· Keep monitoring - what re-growth is happening, and what the animals are eating. If they are not eating what you are putting down, then stop.

In terms of baboons specifically, the situation provides a unique opportunity to start gathering data and would be an excellent project for research into baboons in the area as well as being a case study on supplemental feeding. We would be grateful if residents could assist us by keeping track of the number of troops in the area, their size and movements, we will be liaising with our academic colleagues and make available a data/monitoring sheet in coming days.

We know that this is a controversial issue. It is, we believe, the first time this kind of supplemental feeding is taking place. The local authorities have acknowledged the scale and impact of the fires and know that residents want to help the wildlife. We would really like to stress a cautionary approach; residents must carefully assess the need, follow the guidelines and monitor the situation on an on-going basis, in order to ensure that all animals get back to natural feeding as soon as possible and that their lifestyles are not changed completely in the long-term.

We know that there has been increased human/baboon conflict in some areas around Knysna in the past few years and would hate to see this escalating. We do think though that if managed properly, this could be an opportunity to move those raiding troops that are coming into the most conflict away from human areas completely. That would be the best possible outcome.

We wish all our new friends in the Knysna area strength as they re-build their lives and the lives of all creatures affected by this tragedy, and offer our on-going support.
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Jenni Trethowan
084 413 9482

Kathy Kelly
082 746 1609

Baboon Matters Trust is a registered
Non-Profit Organisation. 074-553-NPO




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