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Glenhills missing mongoose troop sparks fears of poisoning

Danielle Venter who owns the coffee shop at the nursery said she would be able to identify the bodies if she saw them.

RESIDENTS living in Glenhills in the vicinity of Hingham Nursery are frantically trying to find a troop of mongoose who they say have simply disappeared. Their fears are exacerbated by the news this weekend of the killing of a troop of monkeys in eMdloti. Some 22 monkeys are believed to have been poisoned – 13 of these have died.

Social media posts claiming that 30 mongoose had been found dead and handed over to CROW were disputed and the mystery of the missing mongoose is yet to be solved.

Sue-anne Shutte, senior clinic nurse at CROW said: “We have no concrete evidence. With everything we are hearing, its as though we are a third party. We are sitting in the dark. We have had no confirmation that this has happened. Nobody has come to us and there have been no reports of mongoose dying and no bodies found.”

Tanya Fleischer, marketing manager for the Durban and Coastal SPCA said: “It is still under investigation but as far as we know, their is no evidence to support the claims.”

Also Read: R20 000 reward offered for information on eMdloti mass monkey poisoning

A resident who lives near to the nursery, Ingrid Beuthin said she was saddened to discover that her usual gang of mongoose were no longer visiting her house.

“They used to come down to my house, about 36 of them. I was overseas and when I got back on 30 January, I noticed they were missing. We need them for the forest. They are so good for the ecology of forest because they keep bug and snake populations down because they eat those sorts of things. It was upsetting to find out that they were missing. It’s too far down the road, if I had been here I would have investigated sooner,” she said.

Danielle Venter who owns the coffee shop at Hingham Nursery said that she started noticing the mongoose had disappeared about three weeks ago.

“We didn’t do anything about it because they are wild animals and thought they might have moved onto greener pastures. Someone reported that the dead bodies were found on Longwood Drive, but there were no witnesses and no one has come forward to say they have found anything. We only have two mongoose left, an adult male and a young baby that is too young for us to see if it is a male or female. It’s very strange as they are pack animals and have never left the safe haven we give them. People are posting on Facebook that the bodies have been found. We would be able to identify them if we could see the bodies because they have distinguishing features and we have named a few of them. One has no tail he’s called Stompie. One seems to be a runt and we call it Rory.”

“It’s never happened that they have been gone for this long. Usually when it’s time to give birth the mothers go off for about a week. But never this,” she said.

Also Read: Women gang poses as bank staff, gains entry to Durban North home

Venter added that the mongoose had lived on the nursery property for many years.

“We have been looking after them for years. They became part of our family. My mom can literally call them and they will come, they know her voice, but they are totally wild and we can’t touch them. My mother is devastated, the mongoose were like children to her. They have been part of our lives for seven years and we have been feeding them for five years,” she said.

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