Ezemvelo monkey Rescue

Ezemvelo monkey rescue

Monkey Rescue Latest: Ezemvelo seizes 100 vervets from centre

The SPCA and wildlife authority rescued the monkeys that were being kept in crowded, cramped and unhygienic conditions in the rescue centre.

Ezemvelo monkey Rescue

Ezemvelo monkey rescue

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) seized almost 100 vervet monkeys that had been allegedly kept in shocking, cramped conditions in a vervet monkey rescue centre in the province.

Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife spokesperson Musa Mntambo said the owner had been charged with ​​​​​​ breaking two sections of the Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974.  

The two sections that the monkey rescue centre had failed to adhere to include:

• Section 80 (1) of the Nature Conservation Ordinance 15 of 1974 which states that “No person shall keep in captivity any indigenous mammal or exotic mammal, except in terms of a permit granted under subsection 2 of section 84 and in accordance with the conditions, if any, imposed under subsection (3) of that section.”

  • Section 213 (4B) which states that “ Any person who fails to comply with any lawful demand made by any Officer or honorary Officer under this Ordinance, or wilfully gives any false or misleading information in pursuance of such demand shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding five hundred rand, or in default payment, to imprisonment for any term exceeding six months, or both such fine and imprisonment.

Mntambo said the owner had earlier been given 21 days’ notice to remove the monkeys. She was charged yesterday and was given a R1500 fine.

“All vervet monkeys removed by Ezemvelo Game Capture Unit will be disposed of in accordance with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Guidelines for the Placement of Confiscated Animals,” Mntambo said. These guidelines include the return of the confiscated animals to the wild or to captivity or euthanasia. 

“The consulting team that assisted in confiscating all monkeys, first walked around the property viewing all occupied outdoor enclosures which each housed between five to approximately 30 individual Vervet Monkeys. The monkeys were kept in five different enclosures,” Mntambo said.

“In one enclosure next to the kitchen, there were multiple monkeys housed in an extremely small (3.5m x 2m) and dark outdoor area with no sun availability and no perches (except for one beam which was attached to broken and rusting steel mesh). The walls and floors were covered in old faecal matter and had to be swept out by the consulting team before catching could begin,” he said.

Mntambo said the floor was covered in sludge and faecal matter with the team having to clean their boots multiple times in order to prevent slipping while catching.

“The team noticed a male which was looking lethargic and caught him up immediately and boxed him as an individual. Catching was particularly difficult in this enclosure as multiple areas of roofing were rusted and damaged as well as having broken mesh in and around the enclosure,” he said.

He said one of the enclosures which had the worst health and safety concerns had nails sticking out of the walls, rotting roofing and broken floor boards, which allowed for monkeys to hide in the unsanitary and unsafe areas. 

“One monkey caught its cheek on an exposed nail which created a small superficial cut along its cheek. These monkeys were boxed together,” he said.

Ezemvelo’s District Conservation Manager for eThekwini , Roy Jones expressed his appreciation to the SPCA and all officials involved in monkey rescue and warned that Ezemvelo would continue to confiscate animals that are kept without an official permit.