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Stem-cell researcher cuts baby monkey 's spine

By Adriana Stuijt     Jan 4, 2009 in Environment
Two disgusting incidents of animal cruelty toward the frail fervet monkeys of South Africa have come to light today. A drunken, newborn fervet monkey was rescued from a pub, and another one from the cruelty of a stem-cell researcher who had cut her spine.
An unnamed South African hunter is being investigated for animal cruelty after he had shot dead the mom of a newborn vervet-monkey just for fun - so he could entertain his drinking buddies by feeding the frail little baby monkey brandy.
And stem-cell researcher Dr Gert Jordaan of Bloemfontein -- who admitted in an interview with Rapport Afrikaans Sunday paper that he had deliberately cut through the spinal cord of a baby fervet monkey to cause permanent paralyses, is also being investigated for animal cruelty. The little creature had to be put down by the animal cruelty association to put her out of her misery.
The six-day old drunken fervet monkey baby was rescued when the owners of the Pretoria pub contacted the Mystic Monkeys and Feathers zoo nearby.
The Pretoria pub owners said the hunter had shot the animal's mother in order to catch the baby. They made him falling-down drunk so that he agreed to hand over the frail little creature to the owners of the zoo.
The little female still had her umbilical cord dangling from her tummy and was very close to death from alcohol poisoning, said Mrs Zani Olivier, the zoo's marketing director. "The pub owners contacted us to come and fetch the little animal. She was only seven days old yet had no idea what milk was, we had to teach her to drink from a bottle,' she said.
The little creature can't be adopted by another fervet monkey because she would be rejected - the indigenous fervets, which are called Blou Apies (blue apes) in Afrikaans, do not make good pets, are very aggressive and possessive -- so she will now have to be raised by hand.
South Africa's manager of the animal welfare assocation, Mrs Brenda Santon, said these were two 'sick' examples of extreme animal cruelty to a very delicate and most vulnerable animal species. "One does not give a baby alcohol. It's even more insane to give brandy to a baby-monkey,' she said.
Olivier says Q-mie is recovering well. Mr Christa Saaiman, owner of the zoo - which specialises in exotic ape species -- had never had indigenous fervet monkeys before. Now they were offered two within a day, because another owner of a fervet also asked the zoo to find a home. The zoo now will built a special enclosure to house fervets because the creatures are rapidly losing their natural habitat in South Africa.
Olivier says fervet monkeys are not at all suitable as pets: 'they are aggressive and very possessive,' she warned.
Santon said hunting fervet monkeys without a permit is illegal - and they are also investigating a medical researcher, Dr Gert Jordaan, for using a fervet monkey and her baby for stemcell research in his laboratory in Bloemfontein.The incident came to light when this female's unborn baby was removed by cesarean section and her spinal cord damaged deliberately so that the little animal would be permanently paralysed.
Jordaan told the Afrikaans-language newspaper Rapport that due to his stem-cell research however, it would be 'guaranteed 90% certain' that the little animal would be able to walk again.
However the animal welfare society had raided Jordaan's laboratory and rescued the creature from her misery by putting her down. Santon said they were also investigating charges against Dr Jordaan.
More about Fervet monkey, Blouapies, Rescued from bar-ordeal, Stem-cell research spinal, Baby fervet monkey
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