A 77-year-old man is to be charged with illegal hunting – in Fish Hoek – for shooting a baboon which he claims attacked him and his wife.

Louis Goosen says he shot the baboon in self-defence after it attacked him and his wife Frankie Greenwood.

But the SPCA, which was forced to put down the baboon last night, counters that it was already on a neighbour’s property when he shot it.

Cape of Good Hope SPCA wildlife unit manager Brett Glasby said: “The owner has been charged by the police for discharging his firearm in a built-up area. I have also opened a docket for a charge of harming an animal, and he faces charges from nature conservation for harming a protected species and hunting without a licence.”

Goosen said he was working in his garage when he became aware of the baboon standing in front of him.

It must have been four feet (1.2m) high, it gave me the fright of my life.” A troop of nine baboons followed the first baboon into his kitchen and ransacked it.

I heard that baboons run away when firecrackers are lit, but I didn’t have firecrackers so I thought of using my gun,” he said.

He said he fired about six shots in the air, and the baboons scattered immediately. But the first baboon returned half an hour later.

He claimed it attacked him and his wife, so he shot it.

Glasby said witnesses had seen the baboon leave Goosen’s home and enter a neighbour’s property. “The witnesses said (Goosen) then followed the baboon and fired two shots, with one shot hitting the baboon.”

Goosen countered that he did not “hate the baboons”.

“I only shot at the animal after it attacked my wife and scratched me.”

The baboon was taken to hospital for X-rays, which revealed a 0.22-calibre bullet in its spine. Glasby said the fragmented bullet was paralysing the animal, forcing them to put it down.

[email protected] - Weekend Argus