Despite ongoing and concerted efforts to protect the environment, the City of Cape Town is facing a challenge with the illegal hunting of wild animals in its nature reserves.
The City of Cape Town’s Environmental Resource Management Department is urging the public to be vigilant and report poachers or any suspicious activity to their nearest law enforcement or nature conservation office for investigation and further action. It is estimated that dozens of animals are poached from the City’s nature reserves each month.
The main types of animal targeted and caught are small antelope, such as Cape grysbok, porcupine and Cape hare.
However, any mammal, including caracal and mongoose, is vulnerable to non-selective hunting methods. While some of the poaching is for meat, many animals are also killed for their horns, hooves and organs. Porcupine quills are used extensively in the tourism industry. In Cape Town, however, the primary reason for much of the illegal hunting is for the practice of gambling. Dogs are used for illegal hunting and bets are placed on the various dogs involved in the hunt. Poachers can usually be identified when three to five people are walking with a pack of approximately 18 dogs near nature reserves.
This act of hunting is prohibited in terms of the Nature and Environmental Conservation Ordinance and the National Environmental Management Act on Protected Areas and Nature Reserves.
Members of the public are urged to be on the lookout and to support the City by reporting any suspicious activity.
Photo: Scrub Hare (Lepus saxatilis) – Photo Credit: C Dorse