Seven monkeys to be released back into natural habitat after poisoning
Seven of the 22 vervet monkeys that were poisoned in Umdloti, north of Durban, are expected to be released on Monday after making a full recovery.
TimesLIVE previously reported that 13 of the 22 monkeys died after digesting a lethal poison called Temik, popularly known by its street name of "two-step", while nine survived.
According to Carol Smith of Monkey Helpline, a non-profit organisation that rescued the poisoned troop, two of the nine survivors are still showing signs of neurological damage.
"We were initially going to release eight on Sunday but one of the adult females was having some trouble with stiffness in her neck, so we decided to monitor her before releasing all of them," said Smith.
"By the end of the day she wasn't getting any better, so we postponed the release and took the decision to hold her back until she makes a full recovery.
"There is also another young adult male who will remain with us as he has serious neurological issues. He can barely stand without falling down."
Smith added that two females are full of milk and at least one will be reunited with its baby. "There were five orphaned babies in that troop because five mothers had died from the poison. One of those mothers will be reunited with her baby.
"A four-month-old baby is in our care and will most likely be taken to a sanctuary as it suffered a major fracture to the skull when its mother fell from a tree and died," she said.
Last week police confirmed that a case had been registered by the homeowner in whose yard the monkeys were found to have been poisoned.
"A case has been opened at Durban North police station in conjunction with the Animal Protection Act," said police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala.
"The complainant alleged that on March 9 she heard her dog barking. She investigated and noticed the monkeys lying on the ground and there was foam coming out the mouths. She contacted the relevant authorities."