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Police probe City, contractor for animal cruelty over young injured baboon

Police are investigating a case of animal cruelty against the City of Cape Town and the NCC Environmental Services for allegedly leaving a baboon with a broken femur to suffer before the SPCA had to euthanise the animal. File picture

Police are investigating a case of animal cruelty against the City of Cape Town and the NCC Environmental Services for allegedly leaving a baboon with a broken femur to suffer before the SPCA had to euthanise the animal. File picture

Published Mar 12, 2021

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Cape Town - Police are investigating a case of animal cruelty against the City and the NCC Environmental Services for allegedly leaving an injured young baboon with a broken femur to suffer before the SPCA had to euthanise the animal.

The SPCA said it lodged a criminal complaint at the Simon's Town police station, charging officials from the City and its Baboon Management Programme appointed service provider NCC Environmental Services, with contraventions of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962.

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“This following their failure to act on a warning issued by the SPCA requiring them to seek veterinary treatment for an injured juvenile baboon of the Waterfall troop.

“The injured juvenile baboon was left to suffer for more than six days. The baboon had a fractured femur and had to be humanely euthanised at the SPCA,” the organisation said.

Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana yesterday confirmed that a case of animal cruelty was opened for investigation.

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Mayoral committee member for spatial planning and environment Marian Nieuwoudt said: “The City has not been informed of any charges and unfortunately is not in a position to comment any further.”

NCC Environmental Services referred all questions to the City.

Baboon Matters founder Jenni Trethowan said they fully supported the SPCA's action.

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“This is long overdue. It is amazing that the City does not make provision for veterinary care (for baboons). There are too many baboons that did not get veterinary treatment and eventually they would have to be euthanised,” said Trethowan.

Baboon Matters has called for a review of the guidelines and policies of the City's baboon management programme.

The City came under fire last year over their handling of beloved Kommetjie baboon Kataza who was relocated from his Slangkop troop to Tokai in August.

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After a public outcry and failing to integrate with his new troop, Kataza was taken back to Kommetjie in November but was reported to be raiding homes.

The Cape of Good Hope SPCA applied for a permit to have him relocated to the Riverside Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in Limpopo in January, which was granted by CapeNature.

The relocation was the only option and in Kataza's best interest, the SPCA said.

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