Male      –              length:  120 – 160cm; tail:  60 – 86cm; mass:  25 – 45kg (average 32kg)

Female –              length:  100 – 120cm; tail:  50 – 60cm; mass:  12 – 20kg (average 16kg)

Identification Pointers

  • Fairly large size
  • Long, dog-like snouts in adults
  • Uniform grey to grey brown colour
  • Males considerably larger than females
  • Nearly always in troops, very rarely solitary males

These are highly gregarious and social species that live in troops of 15 to sometimes 100 or more.  Baboons are considered to be strictly diurnal, retreating to trees of cliff roots before sunset.

Baboons are omnivorous, but will eat young antelopes, hares, mice, and birds if encountered.  Hunting is an almost exclusively male activity.  Baboons are occasionally responsible for stock losses.

Feeding pattern:

  • Lambs are ripped open
  • Feeding starts at the milk stomach
  • Access is obtained by tearing the flank
  • Eat in a messy way
  • Intestines are removed and the skin is torn in such a way to provide access to the rump
  • The animal is skinned towards the neck and head area
  • Ribs, kidneys, liver, lungs and heart are also eaten

Farmers Weekly, 18 November 2016 

The success of the virtual fence (VF) activated in Gordon’s Bay in January 2016 to keep baboons out of town could result in the use of technology in the Karoo, where baboons have become a major threat to sheep.   Click here for the full snippet.

In general, experimentation has shown that baboon population management is particularly difficult compared to that of other species.  For one thing, baboons are highly intelligent, agile animals and they are adept at circumventing non-lethal barriers, including minders, fencing, and light and noise deterrents that aim to frighten them.


  • Control and management
  • Electric fencing
  • Sound and light deterrents



Consult the relevant authorities about the necessary permits:

  • Cage traps
  • Trapping
  • Shooting

Baboons are a protected species in the Western Cape, in terms of the CapeNature Conservation Laws Amendment Act, 2000, Ordinance 19 of 1974.  According to CapeNature’s hunting notice, a farmer may only shoot two baboons a day on his land.  A farmer needs a permit if he wants to shoot more than the daily bag limit or use a trap to manage baboons.  If caught in a cage trap, the animal should be euthanized in a humane manner.


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