Bounty for monkey killer

Last week environmental group FreeMe Wildlife KZN posted a picture of the affected vervet monkey on their Facebook page that heralded much response.
FreeMe Wildlife KZN had responded to a call from two ladies in Hilton that had reported that a “monkey was dragging itself on the ground”.
“We went out to investigate and found a female vervet monkey that had been shot by a pellet gun from the back. The pellet travelled through her body from the rear below the tail and came to rest at her rib cage. En route through her body, this pellet damaged all the nerve pathways and paralyzed the back section of her body. Through all of this the monkey survived but eventually had to be put down because of the damage caused,”said FreeMe Wildlife KZN.

Umgeni clinic veterinary Vet assisting injured monkey

Now the organisation has threatened to lay charges against anyone shooting any animal – be it birds or vervet monkeys with a pellet gun.
“Although these monkeys can cause damage, please do not attempt chasing them by using pellet guns and the like, as the injuries they cause are horrific and these animals eventually die tragically. Such unnecessary suffering appals me. My post a few weeks ago alluded to exactly this. Please rest assured that if I catch ANYONE with a pellet gun shooting ANY animals or birds, I WILL lay charges,”read the post.
In response Ryan Wagener pledged R1000 towards “any good lead as to who shot this monkey”.

The pellet can clearly be seen just below the rib cage, it had travelled from the rear below the tail to this point,…

Posted by FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation KZN on Saturday, 6 May 2017

Ernie Barendse, Lionel W Phillips also pledged R1000 each on the page while others offered various other amounts. Mark Cook in his post said a few years ago he confiscated two pellet guns from “two little monsters shooting anything that moved”.“They turned around and told me that they were going to call their daddy. When he eventually arrived I ended up bending the barrels in front of him. Nobody shoots any wildlife in my area – do so at your own peril,” he said.

FREEME KZN Wildlife Rehabilitation CentreWorking together to enrich lives.We had a call from two ladies in Hilton…

Posted by FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation KZN on Saturday, 6 May 2017


Justin Hemming, however, admitted to using a paintball gun to chase the monkey troops away.“They are getting very brave and clever. On a few occasions they have gone into the kitchen and stolen food,” he said.Supporting Hemming was Morna Jean MacCallum who said she used a green laser pointer as she didn’t have a working paintball gun.“The alpha male in one troop cornered our tenant in her own place and was very threatening. He was not put off by her wielding her broom and she was terrified, “said MacCallum.

uMgeni SPCA manager Dudu Abraham said while they had received no reports about monkey invasions in the area. She confirmed that shooting any animal in a residential area was a criminal offence.
Steve Smit, chairman of the Monkey Helpline, a non-profit organisation specifically set up to deal with monkey-related issues said pellet guns and catapults were definitely a scourge affecting vervet monkeys.
“Vervets shot with pellets rarely die instantly. Instead the pellets cause injuries that result in a slow and agonizing death over days and weeks. Stones, steel or lead balls, marbles shot at monkeys with a catapult cause severe and life threatening injuries such as smashed eyes and broken bones.  Shooting at monkeys with paintball guns can result in serious and even lethal injuries. It is illegal, unnecessary and very cruel – so please don’t do it,”said Smit.
He said shooting of monkeys or any animals with any firearm or pellet gun was criminal.
“Anyone discharging a pellet gun in a built up area or anywhere else where there is a risk of injury or damage to another person or property is committing an offence and can be prosecuted in terms of the Firearm Control Act, and in many cases also the Animal Protection Act,” he said. Smit advised using a hosepipe to squirt at the monkeys; a water pistol or squirt bottle aimed at them; chase them away by walking towards them and waving a small towel or dishcloth; display rubber snakes in the gardens – but never in the same spot for too long – as monkeys are naturally wary of snakes; dogs are generally good deterrents to the monkeys.

Maritzburg sun reporter

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