News / South Africa / Local News

Nica
2 minute read
11 Dec 2017
6:30 am

Growing concerns over monkey attacks

Nica

Vervets are becoming increasingly brazen around humans, especially in KwaZulu-Natal.

Vervet Monkeys have been responsible for increased attacks on pets and children in KwaZulu-Natal.

A number of Vervet monkey attacks in coastal regions in KwaZulu-Natal have residents and tourists worried. Although this is not a unique occurrence, attack incidents are on the rise in suburban areas.

Last week, an aggressive male Vervet monkey attacked a pet Jack Russell in Birdswood, Richards Bay. The dog suffered deep wounds on its back, hindquarters, neck and shoulder area. The fight came to an abrupt halt as a larger dog on the property mauled the monkey to death.

A member of the public in the Veldenvlei area of KwaZulu-Natal has highlighted instances where monkeys have been caught snatching food out of small children’s hands.

The monkeys have posed a challenge to small children at the pre-school. They also reportedly chase the children and teachers.

“We know the monkeys’ natural habitat has been diminished because of development [in the area], but my question is: is there anything the authorities can do before a child gets attached like this dog did?”

City of uMhlathuze spokesperson Mdu Ncalane has agreed to look into the policies the municipality may have on dealing with the problematic monkeys.

Dealing with Vervet-related problems

Monkey Helpline advises that if Vervet monkeys visit your property and present a problem, make every effort not to leave any food around, as this will encourage their presence and make them less wary of humans. This applies both inside and outside the home.

  • If you feed wild birds in your garden, aim to do so at random times. A routine will give Vervet monkeys an opportunity to get accustomed to available food.
  • Keep fruit and other food concealed when Vervet monkeys are around. They will enter homes to eat fruit and other food.
  • If you leave your house unattended, make sure to keep doors and windows closed. Windows fitted with mesh or insect-proof screens are ideal for this, as this will keep monkeys out and still allow for ventilation in the home.
  • If you are having a children’s party or run a pre-school and children are given food outdoors, ensure that adults are present to discourage monkeys from harassing children for their food.
  • Clear away uneaten food, including any pet food.

– Caxton News Service

Monkey attacks cause concerns for small children’s safety

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