By: Khethukuthula Lembethe
Growing up watching movies and reading story books, monkeys were always portrayed as friendly and mischievous creatures, there were always someone’s best friend and hardly anything that coursed destruction.
Many people’s first encounter with a monkey face to face is when it gets into the yard and grabs their corn and run away with it, at first it may appear fluffy and cute, but when the same troop of monkeys come on a regular basis it gets quite annoying, and the first reaction whenever you see them is to chase them away.
Living in Durban seeing a monkey becomes a general thing, they would cross the road, climb on top of buildings even attempt to open your car doors in the parking lot. First thought or reflex wouldn’t be to harm them but chase them away because of personal fear of them; some people would go to the extreme of shooting them with pellet guns.
There are rare stories in the media about a monkey harming anyone, yet humans still go to that extent to protect themselves.
Research from Justice For Animals states that Since 2002, the death of monkeys through wounds caused by pellet guns has increased, because since then the public has been able to buy these guns without a licence.
According to research from the Justice For Animals, the shooting of monkeys had increased since pellet guns could be bought without a licence at many retailers.
Research also reveals that people who abused or shot at monkeys to drive them away from their properties did not know how to behave around monkeys, as they feared them and were ignorant of their many campaigns around the treatment of monkeys.
Monkeys have been trapped, run over by cars, had dogs set on them and been electrocuted. Justice for Animals and the Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (Crow) have had to assist with an increasing number of monkeys injured or killed by humans.
Humans shouldn’t be resorting to hurting the monkeys, what happened to caring for nature and our animals.
“The abuse of monkeys is not new to Durban and its surroundings but most people did not know that it was against the law to fire pellet guns on monkeys,” said Crow director Helena Fichat,
One of the issues that my mom and gran would protest about monkeys is that they destruct vegetable and herb gardens, the raiding of kitchens by hungry monkeys, and the incessant dog barking as the monkeys hop across the lawn, “they just know where the food is”, my mom would add.
Development and progress but sometimes it’s at the cost of other species, one can only imagine how the monkeys might have felt when their homes were being chopped down to accommodate buildings, roads, bridges, and how their crops were being burnt in order to accommodate for human settlement.
Are monkeys really invading on the peoples land or is it the way around, did humans invade the land of the monkeys.
Should we be moving towards accommodating the monkeys as part of us, and learn how to live with them around us, rather than trying to get rid of them.
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