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03 Jul 2012 10:48
Pringle Bay residents in the Western Cape are outraged at a National Geographic documentary that used food to lure baboons to a house in the area. (AFP)
The Cape Times reported on Tuesday that the primates were filmed with hidden cameras placed in a specially modified and fully furnished cottage, part of the Cape Hangklip Hotel.
The television series, Big Baboon House, had angered residents as it undermined years of effort to keep the animals out of their houses.
The Pringle Bay Baboon Action Group said there had been a steady increase in aggressive baboon activity in the past three months.
"What they did is completely unacceptable. To lure baboons with food is not only illegal, it also disrupts the peaceful cohabitation we've been trying to maintain between humans and baboons."
On the show's official blog, development director Jaco Botha reportedly said his biggest thrill had been the first time the baboons broke into the house as it showed they could be filmed without "having any effect on their natural behaviour".
Digital media content producer Meghan Gleason was reported as saying they had "undertaken a simian social experiment of a lifetime" to understand baboon behaviour.
This was "so we can learn how to keep them out of homes and coexist peacefully with their human counterparts ...
all while having a little fun along the way as we observe these baboons having free reign over a posh house".
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