Cape Town - The death of a Chacma baboon in the Betty’s Bay area, allegedly shot by a resident, has caused outrage with residents calling for swift arrest.
The baboon, known as Brutus, was shot by an unknown perpetrator(s) on Saturday.
After X-rays to determine the extent of the injuries, which allegedly included dog bites, a decision was taken to euthanise him.
Authorities are looking for information that might lead to the arrest of the perpetrator, while a conservation organisation Beauty Without Cruelty South Africa (BWC SA) has offered a R1 000 reward.
Dr Annelie Rabie, from the office of the Overstrand executive mayor, said a veterinarian contracted by the municipality and an independent one, proposed by the baboon interest community, agreed that euthanasia would be the humane thing to do.
She said the decision was also discussed with Murray McGregor, the chairperson of Together4Change, the conservation group in the area.
Rabie said: “The injuries sustained were of such a nature that this once proud animal will not be able to survive in a troop, even if by some miracle it pulls through this ordeal.
“I can assure the public that the municipality will leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators responsible for this animal’s demise to book. Hence, my plea is for anyone who has information about the shooting to come forward. This is not the time to be timid and be intimidated.
“We need to find this heartless individual and fight for a positive prosecution to ensure it will not happen again.”
BWC SA chairperson Toni Brockhoven said the paint balling and chasing of the baboons by the so-called monitors in the area had normalised violence against these primates.
She said “nonsense” social media posts about children being at risk from these baboons were also fanning the flames of the already intolerant residents.
“Baboons are not predators, and people shouting the odds refuse to baboon proof their bins or homes. Humans are the direct reason for any baboons coming into residential areas, and baboons are paying the price for human arrogance,” she said.
McGregor said a request for investigation had been sent to local government, Environmental Affairs, and Development MEC Anton Bredell. McGregor said they were also waiting for the veterinarian’s full report to be made public.