In response to recent reports that Cape Nature have issued Constantia Valley wine farms with hunting permits to kill up to two baboons a day, Groot Constantia has assured the public that they do not use lethal force to control baboons and were not amongst the wine farms that had applied for the permits.

“We have spent over R1 million on a special baboon fence. In addition to this the estate invests more than R 7 000 a week on trained baboon monitors, says Jean Naudé, CEO of Groot Constantia.

Naudé explains that these baboon monitors have substantial experience in the mitigation and management of baboons in the Constantia Valley. When a troop enters the estate, the baboon monitors are trained to use specific techniques such as aggressive gestures and loud noises to chase the rogue baboon or troop of baboons back to an area where they are within the conservation nature reserve of the Cape Peninsula. Paintball guns are only used as an extreme measure.

“The goal is to ensure that the baboons stay in the Table Mountain National Park within their natural habitat and that they do not come to rely on an unnatural diet rich in grapes which is ultimately not good for their health.”

“The different farms in the Constantia Valley all have different levels of baboon encounters and our measures might be effective for us, but not necessarily throughout Constantia,” advises Naudé. “The farms in Constantia Valley put the safety of visitors from around the world first, that is our main priority. All measures implemented are to ensure safe and healthy environments for both visitors and the baboons.”

Groot Constantia is an official World Wildlife Fund (WWF) Conservation Champion. This partnership with the WWF is part of the Biodiversity and Wine Initiative (BWI), which sees the South African wine industry and the conservation sector working together to promote awareness and drive participation in conservation-focused farming practices.

“Regardless of development pressures on land in the heart of a prosperous city, Groot Constantia has stood the test of time and is a conservation miracle. We have a passion and a mission for protecting and nurturing the natural habitat in which we operate,” concludes Naudé.