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Letters Needed to Protect Baboons in South Africa
  Rita Miljo, founder of CARE, with an orphaned baboon who is being rehabilitated.

Rita Miljo, founder of C.A.R.E., with an orphaned baboon who is being rehabilitated.

Please take a moment to send a brief letter which could prevent the indiscriminate killing of baboons in South Africa.


[Visit C.A.R.E.'s web site at to learn more about their work rehabilitating and protecting baboons.]

Dear Primate Friends,

I am writing from C.A.R.E. the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education in South Africa. Our rehab concentrates on chacma baboons - raising orphaned babies to adulthood, and releasing new troops into wilderness areas. You may have seen us recently on the Animal Planet 'Growing Up Baboon' programme.

In 2002, we released thirty-five rehabilitated baboons into a large Conservancy area. As the Conservancy was in the process of applying to be classified as a World Heritage site, we were confident that the two troops of animals would be safe and protected.

This has proven not to be the case. Last year one of the troops was poisoned and six animals died. Now, two more baboons have been shot. This has seriously affected the social structure of this troop, and the scientific evaluation of the project. (The Press release on this incident was sent out under another mailing.)

However, we are helpless to stop the hunter/landowner from killing them. According to the archaic laws in South Africa baboons are classified as "vermin" or "problem animals" and may be killed without having to apply for permits to do so. We have successfully had the law changed in 2 of the 9 Provinces in South Africa - but still have a lot of work to do.


C.A.R.E. needs your help to put pressure on this Provincial Government to have the Nature Conservation Ordinances changed, and abolish the law that classifies baboons as vermin. We believe that all animals must receive equal protection. Until such time as the laws are amended we are calling for a moratorium on the killing of any more animals.

Please would you help us by taking the time to send an e-mail to the MEC for Conservation and Environment requesting him to take urgent action before more animals die on the whim of a gun-happy hunter. A short example letter is shown below - but feel free to add your personal comments. Please cut and paste it into a new e-mail to and copy to me at so that we can keep you informed of our progress.

Many thanks - together we CAN change these laws and allow the animals to live in peace.


Karen Pilling
Centre for Animal Rehabilitation and Education


Mr. Ndleleni Duma
MEC for Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Tourism
Private Bag X2039
Agricentre Building, 2nd Floor
Mmabatho South Africa



E-mail to
Mr Ndleleni Duma
MEC for Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Tourism
North-West Province
South Africa

Dear Sir:

It has recently come to my attention that the laws in South Africa do not protect baboons as they are classified as 'vermin', and may be shot at and killed by landowners. This practice is ethically unacceptable - especially in a country which advertises itself as a prime tourist destination for wildlife lovers.

I recently saw the release of rehabilitated baboons into The Dome Conservancy on a programme called "Growing Up Baboon" on Animal Planet. I find it especially disturbing that these animals have also been poisoned and shot in an area that should have been protected.

You are urgently requested to suspend this law immediately, and revise it to give these animals protection.

Yours faithfully,


The letter AESOP-Project sent --

23 September 2004

Mr. Ndleleni Duma
MEC for Agriculture, Conservation, Environment and Tourism
Private Bag X2039
Agricentre Building, 2nd Floor
Mmabatho South Africa


Dear Mr. Duma,

This letter is being submitted on behalf of AESOP-Project [Allied Effort to Save Other Primates], an international coalition of individuals and organizations dedicated to protecting non-human primates.

AESOP-Project has received reports about baboons in South Africa being shot and poisoned indiscriminately by landowners. Such activity risks undermining South Africa's internationally respected work in protecting its wildlife heritage.

We are gravely concerned about the lack of protection provided to baboons in South Africa and fear that if this appalling killing is not stopped, the outlook for the future survival of baboons is dismal.

As you are likely aware, habitat destruction and poaching poses an enormous - and immediate - threat to the rare and endangered animals, plants and fragile eco-systems of Africa. In May 2002, a United Nations study on the state of the global environment revealed that almost a quarter of the world's mammals face extinction within 30 years. The 233 non-human primate species, including gorillas, chimpanzees and other apes, as well as monkeys, are collectively the most imperiled group of mammals on our planet. Almost half already face extinction, and nearly 20 percent more primate species may soon reach threatened status, according to a report issued by the Worldwatch Institute.

AESOP-Project implores you to protest archaic South African laws classifying baboons as vermin and to support legislation which affords protection to all of South Africas majestic wildlife, including baboons.

Thank you in advance for your time and thoughtful consideration,

Linda J. Howard


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