Baboon's body '250% above-board'
Lauren Hess, News24
Cape Town - The Durban businessman who owns a funeral parlour where a baboon’s carcass was kept alongside human remains said on Wednesday it was all “250% above-board”.
Rajesh Maharaj told News24 that the baboon’s body was being used in a Swedish film, Layla Fourie, shooting in Shaka’s Kraal in KwaZulu-Natal and that he had made sure with authorities that it was in keeping with the law.
Maharaj said the filmmakers had asked him to store the carcass.
Fred Darke, a Johannesburg businessman who is renting the funeral parlour property from Maharaj, was shocked when his staff told him about the baboon’s body that was apparently being kept next to human corpses.
However, Maharaj claimed that it was “kept on a separate shelf”.
The body was locked in a box coffin or crate and marked “do not touch”, though Darke claims that the label said that the body tested positive for swine flu.
Maharaj claimed that the baboon was a “problematic alpha male” who was “interfering with livestock and children”.
He said that South Africa hadn’t been “exposed to film shoots”.
The SPCA’s Caroline Smith said they had been called out to the funeral parlour to remove the carcass.
However, when they told the film company that they would be cremating the remains, the company decided to keep the body so that they could continue using it.
The film is set to premiere in 2013.
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