Monkey shooting still a no-go
Monkey Helpline have refuted word on the street that authorities are encouraging the shooting of monkeys.
Some North Coast residents have been talking – mistakenly – about the passing of a law that allows for the shooting of Vervet monkeys.
The ‘war’ between monkeys and humans in the North Coast area goes back a long time, with a strong contingent for shooting of monkeys and another against it.
There have been numerous cases where monkeys have been badly wounded or paralysed, but not killed, over the years. In such cases monkey groups have had to capture the animals and have them euthanased by local veterinarians.
Monkey Helpline’s Steve Smit said the information is unfounded and the shooting of monkeys is still illegal. He said this is from a stand point of local municipal bylaws disallowing the discharge of fire arms in residential areas.
“Our information networks would have informed us of such a law of it were true,” said Smit.
Smit said the misguided information may have stemmed from a notice that went out in a South Coast publication recently requesting professional hunters to register with the authorities with a view to assisting with over-population of some wild animals.
“The information seems to have been misconstrued as a go-ahead for the shooting of monkeys, which is total nonsense. Even if authorities did pass such a thing, it is illegal to shoot a gun in a residential zone,” said Smit.
“A full environmental impact assessment which would include public participation would also have to be gone through to get such a law passed,” Smit added.
When asked about the monkey ‘problem’, Smit said populations were in fact on the decline. He said when monkeys’ normal feeding route is disrupted by human activity they change it to avoid danger. He explained this is why people who never used to have monkeys in their gardens suddenly do. Smit said this is very disturbing for them, as in the wild female monkeys would never change their area. He said it is also very difficult to count monkeys as a layman due to their quick movement, and people often think they see twice as many as there actually are.
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