Chase Valley residents in a losing battle with monkeys

2015-03-09 00:00

A WAR of words has broken out over the presence of monkeys in the Chase Valley area.

Earlier this year, a female monkey and her two babies were found poisoned there. After Following the reports on the poisoning, Some residents called The Witness saying the monkeys were a problem. However, monkey rescue organisation Monkey Helpline said people need to realise that monkeys are not going anywhere. In fact, people are in their territory.

Residents, who declined to be named, said while they did not agree with the poisoning, the monkeys were a nuisance.

“It is not okay to poison them, but these monkeys are a nuisance. They ­entered my friend’s living room and they completely trashed it. They caused thousands of rand in damage.

“It is not true that they do not go into people’s houses. They are in my house on a daily basis and I have resorted to keeping all my windows and doors locked. The only windows that I leave open are the ones of the room that I am in,” said another resident.

Another said she loves gardening but the monkeys trash her garden.

Founder of Monkey Helpline, Steve Smit, said he had received many calls from residents complaining about the presence on monkeys.

He said many of the calls were motivated by lack of understanding and ­prejudice against monkeys. “People need to understand that the monkeys are not invading anyone’s territory. This is their ancestral home. The female monkeys never leave their ancestral home.”

Although monkeys can be problematic when they entered someone’s house or garden, Smit said, people need to be accommodating.

“Often the attitude is that this is my home and my garden and why should I accommodate monkeys.”

Smit said people should avoid provoking, touching or barring teeth at the ­animals because that will elicit a negative response. “They should not feed them through windows because that will teach the monkeys to snatch food or go to ­people’s houses because they know there is food there,” he said.

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