Police to search for baboon killer

A baboon has been fatally shot by a pellet gun in Da Gama Park outside Simon’s Town.

The City of Cape Town’s baboon technical team has confirmed a young male baboon was shot at the Bluefin Court flats, which is a South African Navy staff residence.

The shooting on Sunday 14 February is the third such incident in three months. Two pellet gun shootings took place a week apart in Scarborough during December last year.

The killed baboon was transported to the Cape of Good Hope SPCA. An autopsy has been conducted. A docket will be put together for submission to Simon’s Town Police Station for prosecution under the Animal Protection Act.

It is illegal to discharge a pellet gun in an urban area and baboons are a protected species in the Western Cape, in terms of the Cape Nature Conservation Laws Amendment Act.

Animal welfare organisations condemn the use of pellet guns on animals as shooting a baboon with a pellet gun causes pain and will rarely kill the animal.

Johan van der Merwe, Mayco member for energy, environmental and spatial planning, also says in a statement it is illegal to feed baboons; to poison, trap, hurt or kill a baboon by driving with the intent to kill; to hunt by shooting at baboons using a pellet gun, catapult, bow and arrow, stoning, setting your dog on them or using a weapon of any kind to injure a baboon; or to keep a baboon in captivity without a permit. All these offences are punishable by law and carry stiff penalties.

Chacma baboons form part of the Peninsula’s rich biodiversity and they play a potentially significant ecological role in the Cape floristic region.

Under current management programmes, the Peninsula baboon population is growing steadily and is neither endangered nor under threat.

V Anyone with information regarding the shooting can call the baboon hotline on 071 588 6540.

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