APPEARING to have a broken spine and screeching in pain, a monkey which had been beaten to a near-dead state by a group of University of KwaZulu-Natal (South Africa) students on Sunday tried to drag itself away from its attackers. But the students, seeing that it was still alive, resumed beating it with sticks until they killed it. The incident at the new residence of the Howard College campus was witnessed by several students living at the residence, some of whom could not bear to watch as the beating continued. One of the culprits was said to be a final-year environmental science student. According to witnesses, the “barbaric” incident started in the B-block ground floor corridor, where a lone monkey had wandered. A group of “about four or five” male students saw the animal climb in through one of the windows, which they then closed. The monkey entered the communal kitchen, where the students started beating it with a stick, continuing to do so until they thought it was dead. They carried it in a blanket to a cricket field central to the various residence blocks, where they lay it on the grass. “It started crawling when they put it down, but it looked like it had a broken spine so they carried on hitting it until it was dead,” said one witness, who would not be named. Another said the monkey was screaming so loudly that it could be heard inside some of the residence blocks. The students then took the dead creature to the B-block gate and left it in a garden. However, witnesses said the body was not there later that day. Another witness said the students implicated had claimed the attack on the monkey was “a big joke”. Steve Smit, of Monkey Helpline, an affiliate of Animal Rights Africa, said he was disgusted that “students at an institution of higher learning, who are going to be professionals in our society”, could be capable of such cruelty. The incident recalled horrific memories of a cat which was microwaved to death by students at UKZN’s Edgewood campus, in Pinetown, in 2005, he said. Smit said that monkeys had very similar sensory and mental capacities to humans, and that the animal, which was in unfamiliar territory and being attacked by a group of aggressive students, would have suffered severe mental and physical trauma. SPCA spokeswoman Caroline Smith said a case of animal cruelty would be opened with the police. “By each of the witness accounts, it seems that this helpless little creature suffered an extremely painful, traumatic and prolonged death. We at the Durban and Coast SPCA will do everything within our legislative powers to prosecute these perpetrators to the full extent of the law.” She appealed to witnesses to contact senior inspector Roshen Rupee at 031 579 6501/54. The matter was also being investigated by the university’s risk management services, said UKZN spokesman Nomonde Mbadi. She said the university viewed the allegations in a “serious light”. “Any act of misconduct or violence will be severely dealt with through the university's official processes,” she said.
In: Regional News
Tags: Cruelty, monkey, beaten, university, south africa, rsa, animal, abuse, killed, kill, death
Location: University, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa (load item map)
Marked as: approved
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