Monday, February 1, 2010

The Return of the Tahr

The Return of the Tahr

Many years ago a couple of Himalayan Tahr Hemitragus jemlahicus  escaped from the old Cape Town Zoo in South Africa. The animals made their way to the highest ground up to and including Table Mountain and there they flourished till by 2003 they were estimated to number in the several hundreds.

The animals became a popular tourist attraction and 'Tahr spotting' was an exciting aside for those who took the walking trail to the top. The Tahrs though were the wrong animals in the wrong place and though seemingly suited to the alien environment they were causing irreparable damage to the local flora and by default, the fauna too.

Back in 2004 the sensible decision was made to eradicate the Tahr from Table Mountain. The decision was unpopular with some and their was a great deal of protest both at home and abroad. The cull took place in any case and on completion was stated to have been 100% sucessful.

It would seem however that not all was as it seemed because six years after the completion of the cull several animals have been spotted and filmed on the Platteklip Gorge path.

1 comment:

  1. I saw three of the tahrs on Platteklip yesterday afternoon. Luckily I was running with my camera so I got a few pictures. You can see them here: