KZN animal activists concerned by growing number of snares
Durban - THE SPCA and environmental activists are concerned about the increasing spread of snaring in KwaZulu-Natal.
At least five environmental activists in May started a group called Snare Aware that has more than 300 members who range in age from 4 to 80. Thus far, the group has removed 305 snares on the South Coast.
On Sunday morning, Snare Aware removed 125 snares.
They were made from all forms of wire, rope, barbed wire, cable ties and other types of materials.
“There are so many different types of snares. Almost every time, we find something new. And some snares are very thin and cannot be seen,” said a spokesperson for the group.
Snares were found in Durban Metropolitan Open Space System (D’Moss) areas, green belts and bushes.
Places that had snaring problems were the South Coast, Upper Highway, North Coast and Umkomaas.
They said some of the animals they had found caught in snares were domestic cats, dogs, monkeys and duikers.
Over the weekend, two men in Hluhluwe found a large number of snares on a farm.
“It is rife and it’s a very cruel thing that is going on,” said Snare Aware.
“Our goal is getting in touch with other groups and we want to work with all of them and really promote awareness and clear areas.”
Snare Aware is willing to help people from other areas if they want to join Snare Aware, start one in their area or start their own group. Those interested can email Snare Aware at [email protected] or inbox Snare Aware on their Facebook page.
Lower South Coast SPCA spokesperson Carla Steenkamp said snares were becoming a major problem, especially on the South Coast.
“Our wildlife is under threat. It’s happening around us, it’s not on the farms any more. It’s closer to us.”
They have asked local security companies to remove snares when they come across them in the bush.
She said they did not always find an animal in the snares because the hunters would have already taken it.
“You get pictures every day, but the one that stood out was a porcupine (in a snare). It’s animals like that, that we will start losing.”
She said the SPCA’s chairperson had found three bushbuck does (mbabala in isiZulu) caught in a snare, and a blue duiker.
“The public definitely need to know what is going on,” said Steenkamp.
Lower South Coast SPCA inspector Werner Taljaard said: “Especially with the lockdown, the majority of people set the snares to catch buck and other wildlife for food purposes. Then domestic pets get caught in snares as well. But even before lockdown, people still did it,” said Taljaard.
He said the problem was that all the animals ended up suffering.
“It’s a very cruel way for any animal to die. It causes unnecessary suffering to any animal,” said Taljaard.
He felt it was most important to educate the community about animal welfare.