A vervet monkey that was beaten unconscious by an angry mob at a shanty town in South Africa is reportedly recovering well after it was rescued by NGO workers.
The vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus) was rescued from the mob in the rural community of Msawawa in the municipality of Randburg, in the northern South African province of Gauteng.
Shiven Bodasing, inspector with the NGO ‘National Council of Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ (SPCA), said they grabbed the beaten and unconscious monkey from an angry mob who had tied a noose around its neck.
It was unclear why the monkey was being beaten but an SPCA said it was probably related to superstition among the people in the poor community where the incident happened.
A spokesman at the clinic where the monkey was being nursed back to health said that it was not possible to speak to the angry mob to ask what the motivation was but added: “It was probably superstition, it usually is.”
An earlier incident that made international headlines involved a different vervet monkey in South Africa that was grabbed by a mob chanting “Kill that witch!” shortly before it was put into a bucket and
set alight with petrol.
Cora Bailey, manager of Community Led Animal Welfare (Claw) in South Africa, said at the time that there was a “dreadful superstition” about monkeys and witchcraft in some communities, fuelled by ignorance.
In the latest attack, the NGO staff said they were lucky to get out without injuries themselves, with a spokesman saying: “The team was barred from leaving by people demanding to be paid.”
According to local media, the mob turned on the SPCA vehicle and broke open the canopy to get to the unconscious monkey.
The NGO workers were able to negotiate their way out of the situation before rushing the injured vervet monkey to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital, according to reports.
Bodasing said it was unlikely they would take further action against the mob members involved in the incident.
He commented: “Unfortunately, it was an impossible situation and finding and charging a suspect is just unattainable given the circumstances.”
Experts at the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinary Hospital told CEN that the monkey was “recovering well”.
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