The Cape of Good Hope SPCA deeply regrets to announce the euthanasia of the adult male baboon WF8, better known to locals and his fans as Van Damme.
Van Damme was humanely put to sleep yesterday evening after a full veterinary assessment of the severe bite wounds sustained from a fight with another baboon a few days prior. This altercation left him with injuries to his face, arms, and chest, and also saw him tragically blinded in one eye.
X-rays taken revealed that in addition to these wounds, he had suffered up to 15 penetrating pellet gun wounds that had lodged in his abdomen, both legs, buttocks, chest, and arms and with a large calibre pellet lodged in his ear canal.
The severity of the wounds would have required an extended healing process with repeat medical procedures, subjecting him to a painful and prolonged recovery period.
It would not have been fair or kind to keep him medicated, isolated, and separated from his troop for such a long recovery time.
Importantly, given the loss of vision in his one eye, returning him to the troop would not be a viable or humane option as this would increase his vulnerability to welfare risks.
We always prioritise the welfare and long-term quality of life of the animals entrusted to our care. We do not consider an animal’s prior habits to be a deciding factor in any decision that we take, nor do we allow external pressures to affect our decisions unless they are based on expert veterinary advice and the best welfare practices.