Tragic twist to monkey drama

2010-09-25 00:00

UNDER the unrelenting stress caused by the trauma of his monkeys being secretly euthanased by the Ezemvelo KZN wildlife, Johan Olivier finally lost control yesterday and tried to take his own life.

Olivier apparently tried to commit suicide by gassing himself in his car at his home in Cato Ridge at midday yesterday, but was found by a neighbour who summoned help. He was taken to hospital in a critical but stable condition and was believed to be in the high-care unit late yesterday.

For the past week, Olivier has been in emotional turmoil after Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife (EKZNW) confiscated his vervet monkeys. To save them the stress of being darted, he himself took them to the Centre for Rehabilitation for Wildlife in Yellowood Park, believing he was doing what was best for them.

He later learned that the EKZNW had euthanased two of the three monkeys, the adults, without informing him. One of the monkeys was said to be heavily pregnant when she was killed.

This sent him to an emotional tailspin. In his initial interview with Weekend Witness he said, “They killed my babies, I have nothing to live for”.

Richard de Jager, one of the concerned neighbours who has been trying to help Olivier cope with his loss, said the decision taken by the EKZNW had mentally and emotionally broken Olivier.

“Those monkeys were his companions and his family and what he experienced is the same as having your child taken away from you,” said De Jager.

De Jager said prior to Olivier trying to take his life, they put him in contact with a helpline to help him cope.

“Ever since this whole tragedy started, he has been crying all the time … he came to our house and we put him in contact with Lifeline.”

“For hours he spoke to the woman there and was crying and the woman could not make sense of what he was saying.”

De Jager labelled EKZNW’s action as cruelty and called for a more humane way to deal with such situations in future.

“People keep pets for different reasons and the EKZNW should have dealt with the situation in a sensitive manner and all of this would have been avoided.”

Neighbour Colleen Walsh called for the head of the person who authorised that the monkeys should be killed.

“They broke the law because they should have given him 21 days to deal with the situation.”

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.