Tragedy struck in Braemar, KwaZulu-Natal on Sunday morning when a 12-year-old boy was shot while climbing a tree in search of fresh guavas.
Reports have it that the boy, Bongumusa Duma, was shot by an 87-year-old man who mistook him for a monkey.
The South Coast Herald reports that Bongumusa was hit in the upper body and head and that he died at the scene.
The incidence was also confirmed by Scottburgh SAPS communications officer Captain Vincent Pandarum.
“A child has lost his life in a senseless incident which would never have occurred if people didn’t keep breaking the law by shooting monkeys.”
Meanwhile, the Sawoti SAPS Detective Service has launched an investigation into the case. The service is reportedly investigating the case of murder.
Animal rights activists have continued to call on individuals to desist from shooting animals senselessly. Since 2002, the death of monkeys through wounds caused by pellet guns has increased.
The activists believe it is against the law to fire pellet guns on monkeys. On so many occasions, monkeys have been trapped, run over by cars, had dogs set on them and been electrocuted.
In 2002, it was reported that some residents at the Mount Edgecombe Golf Estate use pellet guns to drive monkeys away from their properties, mostly in Durban.
Touching on the matter at the time, Steve Smit of Justice For Animals urged residents to stop firing pellet guns on monkeys. He stressed that monkeys were territory-bound animals and only males go out of their territories when looking for food.
In June 2004, a Pinetown businessman paid a R3 000 admission of guilt fine for shooting a vervet monkey with a pellet gun.
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) confirmed that the vervet monkey was shot in Ballard’s garden.
Travis Allen Ballard pleaded guilty to charges laid against him in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962 by the SPCA Kloof and Highway and agreed to pay the admission of guilt fine.