Call to help find who killed Tabitha the baboon

By Staff Reporter Time of article published Jul 5, 2021

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Cape Town - An appeal has been made for anyone with information on the shooting of Kommetjie baboon Tabitha, who was hit with a pellet gun and had to be later euthanized, to come forward.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA said they were notified on Thursday that Tabitha was found sitting against a fence, foaming at the mouth.

They managed to get her into a trap and brought her to the organisation’s animal hospital where she was sedated and examined.

“Our veterinarian found Tabitha to be ‘severely collapsed and non-responsive and her mucous membranes were slightly cyanotic’,” the SPCA said.

The veterinarian found a puncture wound on the right hand side of her abdomen which he suspected had punctured her abdominal cavity.

Externally some fatty tissue could be seen and a finger could easily be passed through the hole, confirming the suspected perforation.

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 evident.

X-Rays taken of Tabitha’s abdomen showed four pellets from a pellet gun distributed throughout her body. Signs of free air in her abdominal cavity were also evident. Picture: Cape of Good Hope SPCA

There was also a large area of bruising.

It was suspected that Tabitha had developed an infection of the abdominal cavity, in all likelihood caused by the perforating pellet fired from a pellet gun.

Her prognosis was poor and a decision was made for Tabitha to be humanely euthanized.

Head Veterinarian Dr Esté Spies said almost all the baboons they x-ray have multiple pellets in different areas of the body, some of them have been there for a very long time and the entry wounds and associated damage has already healed.

“This is a sad finding on most baboons we radiograph because it just shows you the amount of persecution these animals face in their daily lives, due to increasing human-wildlife conflict.

“The shot itself is very painful and the wounds can become infected. The pellets can also cause major suffering, either in the short or long-term, depending on the amount of damage they cause and if they penetrate a vital organ,” Spies said.

Anyone with information on Tabitha’s case, or wanting to report instances where baboons are being treated cruelly can anonymously call 0217004158/9 during office hours or 0833261604 after hours, or email: [email protected]

Cape Times

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