Tabitha, a Kommetjie baboon, was shot with a pellet gun last week and suffered severe injuries. She was later humanely euthanised.
Tabitha, a Kommetjie baboon, was shot with a pellet gun last week and suffered severe injuries. She was later humanely euthanised.

SPCA seeks information about shooting of baboon in Kommetjie

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jul 5, 2021

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Cape Town - The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is seeking the public’s assistance with information that can lead to the successful prosecution of the person who shot Tabitha, a Kommetjie baboon, with a pellet gun.

This comes less than 10 days after the City reintroduced, for six months, the use of paintball markers as an aversion tool to deter baboons from urban areas.

Tabitha, who was later humanely euthanised, is the fourth baboon to have been killed in a residential area from May 14 to date. This includes a baboon that died due to a suspected dog attack, as previously recorded by the City.

SPCA spokesperson Belinda Abrahams said Tabitha was found sitting against a fence in Kommetjie, foaming at the mouth.

“Our veterinarian found Tabitha to be ’severely collapsed and non-responsive, and her mucous membranes were slightly cyanotic’. After sedation, the veterinarian found a puncture wound on the right hand side of her abdomen, which he suspected had punctured her abdominal cavity,” she said.

Abrahams said X-rays taken of Tabitha’s abdomen showed four pellets from a pellet gun distributed throughout her body, and signs of free air in her abdominal cavity were also evident. She said there was also a large area of bruising.

Luana Pasanisi from Green Group Simon’s Town said if there were more follow through with prosecutions against perpetrators, people would think twice before shooting baboons.

“Shooters have always existed but not enough prosecutions over the years have followed, so clearly perceived by the ’intolerant sector’ as entitled to shoot with impunity .The escalation seems to be in sectors of neighbourhoods where groups of intolerant residents find solidarity with each in their stance towards baboons and hence seem to be okay with shooting and not reporting,” she said.

Pasanisi said education and understanding of why baboons entered urban areas was vital. She said some baboons have been attracted by people making holiday/retirement homes a permanent residence and workplace since the pandemic began.

“We have to understand that we have a responsibility as neighbours to a nature reserve with wild animals in it. We have to work collectively at making it work, so we don’t wipe out yet another heritage animal through ignorance, intolerance and entitlement,” she said.

Chantal Carstens- Luyt, a Smitswinkel Bay resident who cares about baboons, said there were never enough reminders with regards to baboon information. However, people were oblivious and refused to baboon-proof their homes.

“I am doing it constantly to the point where I feel like I’m a stuck record, but I won’t stop. I will always keep trying to educate residents,” she said.

Anyone who might have information on Tabitha’s case can call the SPCA on 021 700 4158/9 or the NCC on 071 588 6540.

[email protected]

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