Last weekend we had the sad task of capturing a handsome young adult male Vervet monkey who was the tragic victim of some morally retarded scumbag who thought he could prove his dubious manhood by shooting an arrow into the body of an unsuspecting monkey.
The monkey was high in the branches of a dead tree and rather than disturb him at the risk of losing him in the failing light, we decided to return the next morning to dart him with a sedative and catch him that way. We were told that he had been in that tree for at least two days. It was obvious from his labored breathing and the tremors racking his body every now and again that he was in a bad way.
We returned on Sunday and after some effort managed to sedate him and catch him. Unfortunately he died a few minutes after capture. Close inspection and a post mortem at the vet showed that the arrow had passed through the left lung, through the diaphragm and through his liver before exiting the right abdominal body wall.
Severe peritonitis had set in and this monkey suffered terribly before eventually dying from his injuries and the related infection.
It should be stated that this is the fifth monkey that we know to having been shot with an arrow along a sixty kilometer section of the South Coast, stretching from Scottburgh to Uvongo. (Scottburgh – 1 adult male, Pennington – 1 adult female, 1 adult male, Uvongo – 1 adult male, Oslo beach – 1 adult unknown gender).
Most South Coast residents we have spoken to are incensed at this cruelty and are quick to point out this must be the work of a few socially dysfunctional individuals. It is certainly not representative of the attitude of most South Coast residents to monkeys. Even those who consider monkeys a pest and a nuisance would not want to see them injured.
Shooting or in any other way injuring monkeys is an offence in terms of both the provincial conservation ordinance and the national Animal Protection Act, and contravention of these laws carries heavy penalties, which could include both a fine and a jail sentence.
Perceptions that monkeys are breeding out of control are totally wrong. Every troop that we monitor is actually decreasing in size from one year to the next as their habitat is degraded and they have to spend more and more time in urban areas, facing the threat of motor vehicles, dogs, electrocution on high voltage power lines, razor wire, people with pellet guns, paintball guns and catapults, poison, and much more. These cause far more fatalities than natural predators ever did.
Monkey Helpline appeals to members of the public to keep a look out for these ruthless killers of monkeys. We believe that all these cases are related, either carried out by the same person or by a small group of two or three working together. We would like to see a public comment and denouncement of these arrow killings made by the archery/bow hunting fraternity, but their silence has been deafening. This leaves the impression, expressed by many who have contacted us, that these cruel killings are condoned by the archery and bow hunting fraternities.
Anyone with information about any of these shootings can contact Monkey Helpline on 082 659 4711 (Steve) or 082 411 5444 (Carol), or firstname.lastname@example.org, on email@example.com . All information will be treated with utmost discretion and there is an R11000 reward for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator or perpetrators.”