Dogs have been banned from part of a Cape Town nature reserve after a juvenile Cape grysbok was hunted and killed by an unleashed pet.
The ban at Zandvlei Estuary Nature Reserve in Muizenberg has been imposed with immediate effect and will last until the end of the year, the City of Cape Town MMC for spatial planning and environment, Marian Nieuwoudt, said on Wednesday.
It applies to the Park Island section of the reserve after what Nieuwoudt said was “not an isolated incident of visitors disregarding the rules of the reserve”.
The grysbok was killed on Monday morning.
Park Island resident Coretha Winkworth said she understood the dog involved was a cross between a golden retriever and a collie.
Winkworth said there was “uproar” in the suburb about what had happened, and this is also reflected on the nature reserve’s Facebook page.
“I have been charged [by unleashed dogs] on numerous occasions when walking my leashed dog, challenged when asking other dog walkers to leash up and, my personal favourite, the supremacy attitude of ‘I’ve lived here longer than you,’” posted Patulla Davidson.
“I hope the owner is held accountable. There are responsible dog walkers who are sadly overshadowed by these inconsiderate ones.”
Nieuwoudt said the rule that dogs must be on a leash at all times was prominently displayed at the entrance to Park Island.
“We decided to close this section to dogs to allow the fauna on the island to recover and to prevent further damage to the sensitive faunal populations,” she said.
“Park Island is home to the cape clawless otter, water mongoose, Cape grysbok, small grey mongoose, the angulate tortoise, snakes and the western leopard toad.
“It is sad that some dog owners cannot control their pets and that we had to take this drastic step. The ban applies to Park Island only, however we want to urge visitors to Wildwood Island to please keep their dogs on a leash.”
Writing on the reserve’s Facebook page, manager Kyran Wright said officials would be taking a zero-tolerance approach to non-compliance with the rules on Wildwood Island.
“[Monday’s] incident is being investigated and action will be taken accordingly,” he said.
In another post on the same page, Ashley Oliver said the Park Island dog ban came as a relief.
“Now I can finally take my wife and son for a walk on the island without having to worry about massive unleashed dogs lurking around at every turn with the owner miles away and [unable to] prevent an attack even if he/she tried. Great news,” he said.