EKZNW: ‘Baby monkey was not put down’

2010-09-21 00:00

AS the groundswell of opposition to the euthanasing of Johan Olivier’s two tame monkeys by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) last week grows, their actions are to be reported to the public protector.

This comes after EKZNW disclosed that the baby monkey, Crumb, was not euthanased, but it has declined to reveal his whereabouts.

EKZNW spokesperson Jeff Gaisford said yesterday that Crumb is alive and well in a sanctuary. “He has been put into a rehabilitation programme and is being integrated into a troop. He is settling well and is eating and fitting into the group.”

Gaisford said Crumb is being closely monitored, but he would not tell The Witness which sanctuary the monkey is in. “The first prize is to get him released back into the wild.”

Gaisford defended the decision to euthanase Crumb’s parents, Doonsie and Billy, saying it was rigorously debated and done in conformity with norms and standards and with input from experts.

Shes Roberts of the Tumbili sanctuary told The Witness she had agreed to offer the monkeys a home.

“I confirmed with Victor Hugo [Ishona Longa Sanctuary] and Steven Smit [Monkey Helpline] that all was set at Tumbili and we were awaiting their arrival on Friday morning. We are still trying to find out who had the authority or audacity to sign the death warrants. Both EKZNW and Crow [Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife] are well aware that we run a benchmark sanctuary and cater for those ex-pets who deserve a loving and caring second chance.”

She said that EKZNW “broke every rule” in the “primates in captivity norms and standards” by euthanasing the vervets.

She said it was agreed, when drafting the norms and standards, that primates already in captivity, but being loved and cared for, would be considered “historical” and permits would be issued to individuals for those monkeys to be able to live out their natural lives with them.

She said her husband, Dr Malcolm Roberts, would be consulting a lawyer and the primate rights community would be drafting their grievances, to be handed over to the public protector.

 

“LET me bury my babies.” That’s the cry from Johan Olivier, who says he has been denied access to Billy and Doonsie’s bodies.

“I just want to give them a proper burial in a place that I can go to remember them,” said an emotional Olivier yesterday. He said he has contemplated suicide following the deaths of the monkeys. “My heart is torn into a million pieces.”

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