Why are baboons habituated to suburbia
On refuse collection days the baboon troops are prone to plunder through the area often quicker than the collection crew. Abandoned refuse bags are easy pickings for baboons.
Being naturally opportunistic, highly adaptable primates, they learn quickly. Before the re-introduction of the baboon monitors, the Voelklip troop had evolved into an aggressive, impatient troop, addicted to the sugary rewards of filthy refuse bags and household groceries. Lazy holiday makers and weekenders dumped refuse bags on pavements as they left Hermanus, and some residents were not securing their bins with baboon proof devices, a bad combination.
Half a loaf of bread is equivalent to a full day foraging in their natural environment. Foraging human refuse and stealing from homes became learnt behavior for at least 5 new generations of the troop post 2013. Fortunately this pattern will change for the baboons as they re-habituate to their natural and abundant environment in the Fernkloof Nature Reserve .