Juliana Cromhout, 69, who was renting a room on the farm around 2013, is suing O’Neill, 93, and two trustees of the Cavendish O’Neill Animal Trust for R469 000 for the injuries.
Cromhout said in court papers that the area in which the chimpanzee was kept was not properly fenced off nor did any warning signs appear at or near the area, nor was she ever warned about the possible danger in coming close to the chimpanzee’s area.
She said on or about December 12, 2013, she approached the fenced area in which the chimpanzee was kept holding a bag of figs under her right arm. The chimpanzee grabbed her by the arm, pulled her arm through the bar area of the fence and bit her right index finger off and spat it out.
In the process she also suffered bruises to her right arm and body. She said O’Neill and the trustees, Amanda Carey and Ronald Antorubus, failed to warn her of the dangers of interacting with the chimpanzee.