The trees on Forest Drive, Pinelands, not only shade and beautify the area but have also long been home to squirrels, so residents were upset when tree trimmers destroyed one of the creature’s nests.
Lindsay Lawler complained about the incident which happend on Saturday May 20, on the Pinelands 531 page and accused the City of Cape Town of failing to notify the contractors about the squirrel nest.
“The person in charge should have done a walk through of what was going to be cut down before signing off a blind order. It is not just about one nest but a whole family that has lost its home,” said Ms Lawler.
Many residents responded to the post, among them Dean Mc Farlane. “I know this nest, I’ve seen it for over 10 years. It was huge. Size of a washing machine, maybe even bigger,” he said.
Angela Rackstraw said the City should “attach a wooden box to another tree very quickly, and put the babies in there”.
Meryl Goetsch said: “Do they actually know how to prune trees?
“They seem to cut branches arbitrarily, with no thought for the shape or health of the tree.”
Ms Lawler she had made the contractors open the nest to make sure there were no young inside.
“Trimming of the lower branches that are in danger of falling into the road is acceptable but cutting down a whole nest that has been there for over 10 years and was over the verge not the road is absolutely not okay,” said Ms Lawler.
Suzette Little, mayoral committee member for area north, said dead trees and branches had needed clearing from Forest Drive as a safety precaution and the City was unaware of squirrels being affected.
“Squirrels will only make a nest in trees where there are leaves as the leaves provide protection from predators. It is unlikely that the squirrels nested in the dead branches or dead trees that were removed. We are aware that squirrels use some of the trees in Forest Drive, so before we do maintenance we make staff and contractors aware of the nests.”
She asked residents to contact City officials at 021 444 6019 to help with re-homing the squirrels.