Here we list a number of potential deterrents to baboons on your property. There is a great deal of variation between different areas, between baboon troops, and between individual baboons, so one of these strategies might work well for one situation but not another. Baboons may also become habituated to one deterrent and so an effective overall strategy might be to alternate between different deterrents in succession over time. It is also important to realize that any deterrent that causes harm to a baboon (e.g. loss of a limb or eye) may increase that animal's reliance on easily obtainable food and therefore result in it increasing its raiding activity.

 

Electric fence Pros Cons Conclusion
What it is: Construct an electric fence surrounding your property. How it is supposed to work: This provides a physical barrier that baboons will not cross due to a painful shock upon contact. This will prevent most baboons from entering your property. Electric fences are expensive to install, run and maintain. Also, in some cases they inadvertently kill small mammals (although a good design can avoid this). This is an effective method to keep baboons off a property, but it is expensive. Care must be taken to construct the fence properly using the correct current.
Water sprayPros ConsConclusion
What it is: Use a hose pipe or large water pistol to spray baboons with water to chase them away from a garden.How it is supposed to work: Baboons don't like being sprayed and thus they will usually leave, at least for a while.This is an effective deterrent and it does not harm the baboons. Provided there are no water shortages, this is a cheap and effective strategy.Baboons can become habituated to repeated spraying and they may return after a very short while. Also, one must have a hose pipe that will allow close enough proximity to the baboons to get them wet.Effective and cheap strategy that we recommend.
Baboon-proof garbage bins Pros Cons Conclusion
What it is: Place organic garbage in a container that is not accessible to baboons. How it is supposed to work: These bins are designed to prevent baboons from opening them and accessing organic waste that they will eat. Well-designed and properly used baboon proof bins work very well. Through trial and error, baboons learn how to open poorly designed or improperly used bins. Provided the right kind of bins are used, this is a very effective method of reducing the attractiveness of one's property to baboons.
Bear BangersPros ConsConclusion
What it is: Cartridge fired into the air explodes with a loud bang that scares baboons. Developed to scare away bears in Canada and the U.S.How it is supposed to work: Sudden loud noises scare baboons, at least in the short term.Bear bangers are very loud and do effectively scare away baboons. Unlike catapults or paint/pellet guns which target individual animals, a bear banger can scare away an entire troop.Unfortunately, bear bangers also scare away other wildlife and people too. They are also a fire hazard and so should never be used in dry areas, forests or plantations. Also, baboons will likely become habituated to continued exposure to such noise over time and thus its effectiveness will decrease.Bear bangers are effective, at least in the short term, but they disturb all wildlife and they are a fire hazard. We do not recommend them for long-term use or in areas where they may potentially start fires.
Meerkat Optical Wildlife Rerouter Pros Cons Conclusion
What it is: This is a spinning glass prism that reflects light. How it is supposed to work: The rationale is that the spinning prism reflects light and that the bright lights will scare baboons away. This device was tested by Bentley Kaplan as part of his PhD research at UCT. This might work in rural areas, e.g., on farms, where baboons are not habituated to seeing bright reflected light. This does not work in an urban environment, most likely because baboons are used to seeing reflected light from windows, mirrors, and many other reflective surfaces. This is not effective in the urban environment, but it has not been tested in rural settings.
CatapultsPros ConsConclusion
What it is: Use of a catapult or slingshot to shoot small objects such as stones at individual baboons.How it is supposed to work: If a baboon is hit by a flying object, it will experience pain and run away.This will chase baboons off a property due to the infliction of pain.This method causes pain to the animal and there is a risk of injuring a baboon, especially the eyes. A strike to an infant's head may cause serious injury. Also, the efficacy of this method may decrease over time due to habituation. Baboons may simply return later, when the bearer of the catapult is no longer present.This method may work for short periods but there is a high risk of hitting a baboon in the eye which can result in blindness. This type of injury could increase the dependence of the injured baboon on easily obtained human food. Not recommended.
Paintball guns Pros Cons Conclusion
What it is: Use of a paintball gun to shoot paint balls at individual baboons. How it is supposed to work: Baboons do not like to be hit by flying objects and will thus avoid the area, at least while the paintball gun is in use. This will chase baboons off a property due to the infliction of pain. Baboons will likely become habituated to this deterrent and it may thus decrease in efficacy over time. Baboons may also simply return later, when the bearer of the paintball gun is no longer present. Moreover, there is a risk of injuring a baboon, especially the eyes. A strike to an infant's head may cause serious injury. This method will chase baboons from a property, but there is a risk of causing injury if an animal is shot in the eye or if a young baboon is shot in the head. Not recommended.
Inflict harm and release a live baboonPros ConsConclusion
What it is: This strategy involves inflicting harm on a live baboon and re-releasing it, under the assumption that other baboons will be warned and then stay away.How it is supposed to work: Some people think that other baboons will be scared away upon seeing a suffering baboon and/or that other baboons will make an association between the suffering of the injured baboon and what might happen to them if they enter the property themselves. There is no evidence to support either of these ideas.None.Any harm inflicted on a baboon for these reasons is inhumane and causes unnecessary suffering. Moreover, it does not work.This is a cruel, illegal and ineffective strategy.
Shoot one baboon as warning to others Pros Cons Conclusion
What it is: Shoot and kill one baboon as a warning to the other baboons to stay off your property. How it is supposed to work: This idea assumes that baboons are able to make the association between one baboon being shot and a similar consequence for themselves if they enter the same property. Unfortunately, baboons will not make this connection. Reduces troop size by one baboon. This unnecessarily kills an animal and it does not prevent the other baboons from returning to your property. It is illegal to shoot baboons without a permit. Regardless, this strategy simply does not work.
Paint a baboon white and release itPros ConsConclusion
What it is: Paint one baboon white and other baboons will flee from the area because they are afraid of the white baboon.How it is supposed to work: Some people think that other baboons will be scared out of an area by a white baboon. This is misinformed and patently false.None.Not only is this method ineffective, but it also exposes an animal to unnecessary suffering.This is a misinformed idea and it does not work.
Pellet guns Pros Cons Conclusion
What it is: Use of a pellet gun to shoot small metal pellets at the baboons. How it is supposed to work: This will cause pain to the baboons that are hit, and they will run away. Illegal. Pellets will enter the skin of the baboons, thereby not only causing pain but also injury and possible infection. There is also the risk of shooting a baboon in the eye. Shooting a baboon with a pellet gun is illegal. Furthermore, it can cause serious injury to the baboon. These injuries might result in a baboon relying even more on easily obtained human food.

 

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