‘Senseless shootings’ of monkeys

2019-01-28 14:17
Townbush resident  Terrence Powell has complained  to police about monkeys being  shot at his housing complex.  He is pictured feeding a Vervet monkey oats from his hand.

Townbush resident Terrence Powell has complained to police about monkeys being shot at his housing complex. He is pictured feeding a Vervet monkey oats from his hand. (Kerushun Pillay)

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A Townbush man has had enough of the “senseless” shootings of monkeys at his housing complex and has taken his grievances to the police.

Terrence Powell has submitted an affidavit to police where he claims he has made his body corporate aware of “numerous” attacks on monkeys at the complex over the years, but they were “not prepared to get involved”.

Powell is a self-described monkey lover who feeds and even has names for groups of Vervet monkeys that are found in the area.

His affidavit came after an incident on Wednesday when he was alerted by a neighbour to the corpse of a monkey at the complex. Powell claimed an X-ray by a vet showed that an airgun pellet was lodged in the monkey’s jaw.

“This has been a great concern to me as there is a very real possibility that a passerby can be struck by a bullet,” the affidavit read.

Powell told Weekend Witness that over the years he had seen about 20 monkeys get shot at his complex. “I’ve written many times to the body corporate asking them to put out a warning about monkeys rather than them allowing people to decimate the monkeys,” he said.

“I’ve noticed many monkeys dying at this complex and nothing is being done. I don’t know what kind of a thrill a person could get out of doing this.”

monkey killings

An X-ray of the monkey that was found dead at the housing complex in Townbush this week. It had an airgun pellet in its head.   

Dennis Carshagen, the chairperson of the complex’s body corporate, declined to speak to Weekend Witness.

Powell added that he had tried in vain numerous times to open charges of animal cruelty with police, but has been unsuccessful.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mthokozisi Ngobese advised Powell to reach out to Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, which is the proper custodian of wild animals.

“KZN Wildlife would be the ‘owner’ of the monkey so they can be a complainant in the matter and [Powell] can be a witness in the matter,” he said.

Ngobese said charges of animal cruelty can be opened by wildlife authority.

Powell said he would consider reporting it to Ezemvelo.

However, Ezemvelo spokesperson Musa Mntambo said they would not open a case as Vervet monkeys are not protected species.

The incident was reported to Monkey Rescue, which is dealing with it.

Steve Smit, of Monkey Rescue, said monkeys being shot with airguns is a very common occurrence.

“We are rescuing three to 10 monkeys daily and more than 1 000 a year, be it monkeys hit by cars, bitten by dogs or subject to animal cruelty. More than 85% of those are shot with airguns.”

He said in one case a monkey had been shot 19 times with an airgun. “They suffer horrendous agony and usually die from being shot. Sometimes they’re shot in the eye or have fingers shot off.”

Asked if he would consider not feeding the monkeys, Powell refused and said he would continue to do so.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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