Love Island bosses fear new villa could be under threat from aggressive baboons

Love Island bosses fear a troop of aggressive baboons could try to invade the cast’s villa after several were spotted near the perimeter.

ITV2 bosses are particularly concerned after learning that the 5ft primates are attracted to shiny objects – with the Islanders’ sunglasses and blingy jewellery sure to lure them.

The 5ft primates have been causing mayhem in the area of Cape Town, breaking into houses and cars to find food. They have also been raiding restaurants and stealing customers’ food. One is even nicknamed “Spag Bol Baboon” due to his penchant for pasta.

In 2017, a tagged chacma baboon called Dodger was tracked committing 37 raids, including eight “assertive raids, 20 occupied house raids and one threatening incident”.

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The Islanders’ villa is nestled in city’s vineyard area of Constantia, where farmers have been engaged in brutal battles with the pesky primates.

ITV2 bosses, who filmed a rehearsal of the series this week, have now drafted in round-the-clock surveillance teams to shoo away any potential intruders. A source said: “Obviously, the safety of the contestants is a top priority.

“Nobody wants to risk baboons getting into the villa.” In 2018, a survey found 440 chacma baboons in Constantia.

The population had risen 24% since 2012.

Residents are encouraged to “baboon-proof” their properties by con­trolling waste and removing fruit trees along with vegetable patches.

In 2018, animal lovers were outraged when farmers were granted licences to kill up to two of the monkeys every day. More humane vineyards in the area shoot them with paintballs to clear them away, with one installing a £50,000 fence with special baboon monitors.

The Baboon Matters Trust said the only sustainable solution is to “manage humans, not baboons”, blaming human waste for drawing the primates from the mountain.

The new series of the ITV2 dating show starts on Sunday, with seven women and five men set to move into the villa.

The main show airs every night at 9pm on ITV2, except Saturdays, when Love Island: Unseen Bits airs instead. Male contestants include a police officer, a coffee bean salesman who worked as a naked waiter, and the heir to a Cornish estate.

Laura Whitmore, 34, replaces host Caroline Flack who quit following an assault charge. Laura said she is “super-excited” to be a part of the show.

Laura will be able to join her boyfriend Iain Stirling, who is narrator for Love Island.

She grinned: “I couldn’t possibly let him go out there and have fun without me.”

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