A Conversation for Climbing Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Table Mountain's Dassies

Post 1


Table Mountain teems with guineapig lookalikes called dassies, also known as rockrabbits or hyraxes. These mammals, although only the size of a large housecat, are the closest living relative of the elephant - believe it or not. Elephants and dassies share a remote ancestor with sea cows, otherwise known as dugongs and manatees.

Usually, dassies browse on bushes, trees, fruit and succulents, but tourists wanting the ideal photo opportunity have been feeding the dassies on Table Mountain, with the result that they have become quite demanding, and even agressive.

Be warned! And please, don't feed the animals.

Table Mountain's Dassies

Post 2

Swiv (decrepit postgrad)

Thanks smiley - smiley
Have to admit I never have feed the dassies (too much experience with seagull problems at home!), but try stopping some of the tourists

Table Mountain's Dassies

Post 3

Wrinkled Rocker

I was there last month. I witnessed an orderly picket and plackard demonstration by the irate dassies protesting the withdrawal of the free food. They claim this was part of their conditions of employment and are demanding a return to the status ante.

Notable plackards included:
"Hyrax are human too"
"Four little dassie mouths to feed"
"Stop descrimination against dassies NOW" and
"Big Macs Now, or we eat tourists!"

Rumour has it that the Hyrax Helping Hands (an NGO dedicated to eliminating all forms of discrimination against dassies) will be petitioning the South African Contstitutional Court to equate rock hyrax with humans, thereby granting them the right to free speech and to organise into unions. They have also declared themselves willing to pay VAT and Income Tax on the (wholesale) market value of the food supplied by tourists. They are also offering group rates to tourists who wish to photograph more than one of them at a time.

Table Mountain's Dassies

Post 4

Swiv (decrepit postgrad)

smiley - biggrin

Key: Complain about this post

More Conversations for Climbing Table Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Write an Entry

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."

Write an entry
Read more