The National Council of SPCAs will lay charges against the East London Zoo for animal cruelty.
The council revealed this in a media statement sent yesterday after the NSPCA’s Wildlife Protection Unity paid an unannounced proactive visit to the zoo.
During the visit it found a male Chacma baboon, William, who was suffering from some form of paralysis in his hind legs. The NCSPCA said they would lay the charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act.
It said while they continued their investigation, the charges will be laid against all responsible for the cruelty, suffering, neglect and unacceptable conditions found at the facility.
According to the NSPCA council the male baboon appeared lethargic in his enclosure.
The NSPCA inspectors said they issued a warning in terms of the Animals Protection Act, requiring the baboon to be examined by a veterinarian by close of business and the report to be forwarded to them.
However, the warning was not complied with and no veterinarian had been in attendance.
NSPCA Inspector Cassandra McDonald’s return visit the following day revealed a significant deterioration in the condition of the baboon.
“He had open, bleeding wounds and was found in the exact area as the previous day. The concrete flooring around the animal was covered in blood. Pieces of his flesh were visible,” said McDonald.
When called for comment yesterday afternoon Buffalo City Metro (BCM) spokesman, Sibusiso Cindi said he was not aware of the charges to be laid against the zoo.
“I will follow-up with the relevant department,” said Cindi.
According to the NSPCA, the Zoo superintendent confirmed that the baboon had not been able to reach his night quarters and had spent the night in the spot where he had been the previous day.
“The serious and worsening condition of the animal led to the NSPCA requesting that the baboon be signed over into our custody to render assistance. The baboon was sedated. He had large open wounds and lesions on his buttocks. Flesh had been eroded away. The wounds appeared to be infected and were infested with maggots. The baboon appeared to be grossly underweight.
“To prevent further suffering, the baboon was humanely euthanised on site. The result of the postmortem examination is awaited.”
A further warning in terms of the Animals Protection Act was issued to the East London Zoo, citing further contraventions of the Act to be rectified.
The NSPCA council has warned that those responsible will be held accountable.