Boys’ dassie hunt outrages people in Clarendon

2008-06-26 00:00

Clarendon residents have expressed their outrage following the hunting of dassies in nearby bush. Hunters, including teenage boys, are alleged to be trespassing on municipal land near Roberts Road to hunt dassies.

Rene Badenhorst, a resident in the area, said she witnessed a “horrific scene” when a group of teenagers set their dogs on the dassies.

“It was a horrific experience; I saw them with my eyes as they set dogs on the little animals and killed them.”

She said the hunters had been hunting and camping in the area for four days.

“They are destroying these animals. … we enjoy watching [the dassies] from our doorsteps as they lie in the sun.”

Badenhorst said she called the Msunduzi municipal game guard, but nothing was done.

She said she confronted the boys near her house and told them that police were on their way.

Msunduzi Municipality conservation and environmental manager Rodney Bartholomew said the incidents were reported to his department. He said hunting is not allowed in the area since it is a conservation area.

“We received reports about the hunting and municipal game guards were dispatched there to investigate. They saw the boys, but they managed to escape.”

Bartholomew said the municipality lacks the resources to police all its conservational areas properly. However, he warned that if caught, hunters will be charged.

The SPCA said charges will be laid against perpetrators. SPCA spokeswoman Maureen Vida said the killing of dassies is punishable by law.

Vida said that to save the dassies from the poachers, the SPCA had decided to move the animals a safer place.

She said the area is also full of snares set by hunters and that dogs may also get trapped in these snares.

“We appeal to the residents to call us when they hear anything suspicious,” she said.

sandilez@witness.co.za

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