“How can someone be so cruel, so inhumane.” “It’s unbelievable. Absolutely unacceptable. “I hope they track down the one responsible and make him pay for his terrible deeds.”
These were just some of the comments received from readers who heard about the incident last week where a ‘helpless’ male vervet monkey was shot twice with a hunting bow.
Kormorant was called to the scene in Elizabeth Street, Schoemansville where Wollie, who is second in charge in his troop, was found. It was shocking to see. Two arrows went right through his head and body.
A ranger from the Hartbeespoort Snake and Animal Park caught Wollie and held him in a blanket. They transported him to the Hartbeespoort Animal Clinic where Dr Christine Hahn, assisted by Sr Sunette Griebenow started the procedure to remove the arrows, which entered from his left side.
According to Dr Christine the one went through his skull and exited on the right hand side of his jaw. The other one went in just behind his shoulder-blade and exited through his shoulder (to the right).
Dr Christine said the second arrow was almost a mortal shot. If the arrow went straight through his body it would have hit his heart. The arrow went through his left lung.
Wollie was given an anesthetic after which Dr Christine and her team removed the arrows. Large pliers were used to cut the arrows and split the solid arrowhead from the feathery part before they were pulled from his body. The archer, which is believed to be a professional hunter ‘knew what he was doing’ and luckily did not hit major blood-vessels and Wollie did not suffer from any bleeding. He also did not lose too much air or blood from the injured lung and did not need any surgery.
Kormorant was allowed to capture the whole procedure on film and watch the team at work. Wollie’s wounds were thoroughly cleaned and antibiotics injected into the wounds. Dr Christine turned him over to attend to the wounds on the other side. The medicine had run straight through to the other side. His wounds were stitched and he was transported to the hospital section where his treatment with antibiotics continued.
Wollie recuperated miraculously and received his last dosage of antibiotics on Monday 25 February. He was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday. Dr Christine fed Wollie a banana which he gulped before Luela Mossom of the Vervet Monkey Foundation took him in her care and released him in her garden where he and his fellow troop members often gather.
Luella told Kormorant that they were offering a reward for the successful prosecution of the culprit responsible for Wollie’s ordeal.
The monkey was eager to take back his freedom and immediately leaped forward when Luela opened the cage to set him free. He climbed the nearest tree from where he once again overlooked the area he calls home.
Luela took the opportunity to thank Dr Christine, Dr Ken Pettey and everyone at the hospital for taking such good care of Wollie. She added that Dr Christine was very generous and did not charge them any professional fees. They also received a huge discount on his medication.
“Thank you very, very much. it does not only come from the bottom of our hearts but also on behalf of Wollie who cannot speak for himself,” she said.