The severed baboon limbs some Boston residents allegedly used as muti to ward off intruders likely came from three baboons and not one, as they had claimed, says the SPCA.
Cape of Good Hope SPCA spokeswoman Belinda Abraham said an autopsy found the limbs were the left hand of a young adult male, the left hand of an adult female and the right foot of a juvenile (“Severed baboon limbs found in Boston”, Northern News March 30).
SPCA CEO Allan Perrins and a panel of experts will now question the residents to get to the bottom of the matter.
“Cape Nature and SAPS have been made aware of our findings and continue to work alongside us.
“We will not rest until we have uncovered the facts in this matter and sought justice where justice is due,” said Ms Abraham.
Inspectors followed up on an anonymous tip-off on Friday March 17 and were shocked to find two severed baboon hands and a severed foot hanging over a wall.
The residents claimed the limbs came from a dead baboon on an undisclosed farm and used them to protect their home from criminals.
Jenni Trethowan, founder of Baboon Matters, said they were appalled to hear about the incident and grateful to the SPCA for going public with it.
“The inhumane treatment of baboons, and the careless attitude towards their wellbeing and right to exist, is something Baboon Matters has fought against for more than 15 years, and will continue to do,” Ms Trethowan said.
“Highlighting cases such as this and creating public awareness for the plight of baboons is the only way to create change and ensure a sustainable future for baboons in South Africa.
Ms Trethowan said the law gave baboons no protection, and Baboon Matters had called for a meeting with Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa to change baboons’ conservation status from “least protected” to “protected”.
Baboon Matters is also running a campaign in schools to teach children about baboons and how to live alongside them without conflict.
Anyone with information on this matter can contact the SPCA at 021 700 4158/9 during office hours or 083 326 1604.
All reports will be treated in the strictest confidence.