The Cape of Good Hope SPCA is investigating after discovering severed baboon limbs dangling from a property in Boston.
Inspectors acting on an anonymous tip-off on Friday March 17 were shocked to find two severed baboon hands and a severed foot hanging over a wall – a first for the SPCA.
SPCA spokeswoman Belinda Abraham said the occupants of the house claimed to have severed the limbs from a dead baboon they had found on a farm and then hung them over the wall to ward off intruders.
“They remain unco-operative with regards to the location of the farm or the baboon’s remains, which the SPCA would like to recover for forensic purposes,” Ms Abraham said.
The SPCA is working with Cape Nature and the police on the case. It is examining the limbs to determine the baboon’s age and other information that could help the investigation.
Ms Abraham said the SPCA could prosecute under the Animals Protection Act if evidence of animal cruelty were found. The occupants of the house where the limbs were found could also face possible prosecution by Cape Nature for contraventions of the Nature Conservation Ordinance 19 of 1974.
“Our baboons already suffer terribly at human hands. Targeted for marauding and already treated with cruel intolerance, they now face the additional threat of death and mutilation in the name of human protection,” said Ms Abraham.
Cape Nature spokesman Justin Lawrence said it was illegal for someone without a permit to hunt a baboon.
A post about the incident was shared on the SPCA’s Facebook page and sparked a huge outcry from many users.
Lorraine Holloway said: “Cape of Good Hope SPCA, there are no baboon troops in Bellville. Where did they find the dead baboon? Were they told that baboons on the peninsula are protected and anyone hurting or killing a baboon would be charged. These limbs displayed in this cruel manner must be removed. Otherwise what message will it convey? I hope you will be doing a thorough investigation to get to the truth. Thank you.”
Mea Steyn said: “If it is to protect the property, the only thing that comes to mind is muti.”
Lisa Rhodes Adam said: “Can humans really be so sick and demented!”.
Bellville police spokeswoman Henrietta van Niekerk said the case had not been referred to their branch.
To report animal cruelty call the Cape of Goodhope SPCA at 021 700 4158/9 during office hours and 0833261604 after hours.