A Fish Hoek man, accused of shooting a baboon, appeared in the Simon’s Town Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday to face animal cruelty charges in violation of the Animal Protection Act.
Louis Goosen was originally scheduled to enter a plea on Tuesday, but told the magistrate that he thought he should take legal aid, which delayed his trial.
Goosen is also charged with hunting without a licence in terms of the Nature Conservancy ordinances, and illegally discharging a firearm in a built-up area.
Last November, Goosen allegedly shot a baboon known as Nosketti with a .22 calibre rifle.
The bullet lodged in the animal’s spine and he was put down due to debilitating injuries.
The SPCA X-rayed the animal and found more than 100 foreign objects in the animal’s body.
Nosketti, a baboon well-known in the area, had been scheduled to be part of a documentary before his death.
Brett Glasby, Cape of Good Hope SPCA wildlife unit manager, and several other witnesses in the case were in court on Tuesday to testify, but were excused by the judge until a new court date could be set.
Outside the court, Glasby said he was still hoping for a guilty verdict.
“We need to get a message across,” said Glasby.
“We are getting too many cases of baboons who have been shot, but not enough people reporting them.”
He said the incident was not an isolated case. A juvenile baboon was found shot at Da Gama Park last month and an autopsy determined it had been killed by pellet gunshot.
In November, Goosen said his home had been invaded by baboons and he had shot Nosketti in self-defence.
Police officials and the SPCA confirmed the invasion, but said the shooting did not take place at that time.
Under the Animal Protection Act, it is illegal to harm, injure or kill baboons in SA.
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