Wildlife: Sanctuary owner appalled by ‘cold-blooded’ decision to put down monkeys

2010-09-20 00:00

LOCAL conservationist Victor Hugo, who owns the Ishona Langa wildlife sanctuary, yesterday added his voice to those who are appalled by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife’s “cold-blooded” decision to euthanase the monkeys that Cato Ridge man Johan Olivier has raised.

Hugo has offered Olivier a place to stay while he recovers from the trauma of losing Doonsie and Billy, whose story was carried by Weekend Witness. It is unknown whether their baby Crumb was ethanased.

Hugo said he has asked for a meeting with EKZNW to demand a moratorium on killing monkeys. “EKZNW had no right to do this. There will be repercussions for this because they are accountable.”

Hugo said he has place for six vervet monkeys at his registered sanctuary at Ashburton and the monkeys could have been accommodated there. “Johan would have had free access. There would have been a process of healing for both humans and monkeys.”

He described Olivier as being “traumatised” since he learned of the death of his beloved monkeys on Friday.

Hugo also lashed out at the Centre for the Rehabilitation of Wildlife (Crow) after Olivier took his monkeys there for an assessment at EKZNW’s demand. “Who can trust them now? Crow should have stood their ground and protected those monkeys.”

Rose Diamond, Olivier’s ex-partner, told The Witness they have received “thousands” of calls of support.

She said she had helped raise the monkeys, who were toilet- trained and slept in their bed.

“We got Billy after he was shot in the chest on the farm he lived on. We nursed him back to health but when he went back he was shot again. He had a R10 000 steel plate put into his arm by a vet. Doonsie was found at Albert Falls almost dead at only a few days old. Her mother had been electrocuted on an electric fence and she was badly burned.

“EKZNW went about this the wrong way. If they had let them come to the sanctuary we could have taken ourselves slowly away from them.”

She revealed that Doonsie was pregnant again and was “due anytime”.

Olivier said he is organising a protest over the “murder”of his “children”.

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