Steve Smit, of Monkey Helpline KZN, said they were searching for a monkey that had been painted red in Sherwood when they saw a gardener walking with a pellet gun in his hand. Smit was still setting up the monkey trap at the time.
“We all know it’s happening every day, but very few of us witness the actual incident. We confronted him and he admitted to us that he had come out to shoot at the monkeys. The gardener claims that a troop of monkeys were pulling refuse out of the bags that had been put out for collection,” Smit said.
“He also admitted that he had been given the gun by his employer, who instructed him to use it to chase off monkeys. We relieved him of the gun and notified both him and the employer, who he had in the meantime summoned, that this was illegal,” Smit said.
The gun fired metal pellets which Smit said were harmful to monkeys and humans alike.
Smit had registered an incident report and handed over the pellet gun to the Sydenham police.
The monkey that was painted was trapped by Smit and taken to his sanctuary.