The heavily pregnant monkey that was found full of pellets in Schoemanville two weeks ago, gave birth to a stillborn baby this week.
The baby monkey’s skull was crushed, possibly because it had been hit by one of the pellets when the mother was shot.
The monkey, who was found dragging her leg in a street in Schoemansville two weeks ago, was captured and a veterinarian discovered 13 pellets lodged in her body after having been shot several times with a pellet gun. Some of the pellets were lodged close to the spine, causing nerve damage, partially paralysing one of her legs.
Greg Strydom, local conservationist and owner of the Chameleon Village Reptile Park, Hartbeespoort Aquarium and Makalani Bird Park, who has been looking after the monkey since her capture, took the mother and dead baby to a local veterinarian on Monday. The baby had a crushed skull, but we could not conclusively determine what had caused its death. The mother was operated on, and some of the pellets were removed. The veterinarian could not remove all of them because of where they were located. The ones close to the spine have been removed, but we don’t know yet if the paralysis will be relieved. All we can do is hope that the remaining pellets do not cause lead poisoning. She will now be monitored and rehabilitated. There is still a long road ahead.”
People who are shooting monkeys with pellet guns are warned that it is illegal to fire a pellet gun in a built-up area and they will be prosecuted. It is also in contravention of the Animal Protection Act, and perpetrators will face a heavy penalty.
“Firearm owners should also keep in mind that should you be caught shooting with a pellet gun in a built-up area, the licences of other firearms will also be revoked.”
Linda Spencer-Coye, chairman of the Hartbeespoort Animal Welfare Society (HAWS) said it is extremely cruel to shoot animals with a pellet gun, causing suffering and eventually a slow death. “They will be charged with cruelty to animals and prosecuted.”