HEATHER-LYNN’S HABITAT: ‘Better way’ than culling monkeys
As monkey hunters call for an increase in the bounty paid for killing the pests, one group has come out in defence of the primate.
And one vet wants to see their name changed from Barbados green monkey to African green monkey, to reflect the fact that they are not a native species.
The reactions came as farmers and the Barbados Agricultural Society (BAS), once again, cried out against the destruction caused by the monkeys to crops and livelihoods.
The group, Action For Animal Barbados (AFAB), said it understood the concerns of the BAS but felt long-term solutions, including working with stakeholders such as the BAS and others, needed to be found.
“We would like to make it clear that AFAB does not take the view that the Barbados green monkey or stray dogs are the problem,” said spokesperson Gail Hunte. “Instead, AFAB sees this situation as a result of cause and effect. In other words, when the monkeys’ natural habitat is lost, they are forced into areas that they would not choose otherwise.”
Hunte, in a statement, stressed that conservation and preservation of natural areas and resources were critical to keeping the green monkey in its natural habitat.
“AFAB would like to speak with relevant parties so that we can begin the process with affirmative action to bring about sustainable change,” she said.
“For instance, in preserving our gullies, we need to implement clean-up programmes that will help to keep the gullies free from debris so that seedlings can germinate and produce foods that would sustain the green monkey population.”
Meanwhile, veterinarian Dr Raquel Moseley dismissed the notion that the green monkey was indigenous to Barbados. She said it had been imported “way back when” from Africa.
“Stop calling them the Bajan green monkey. Call them the African green monkey,” the vet said.
Addressing a group of children at the Barbados RSPCA in the run-up to World Veterinary Day last Saturday, Moseley said the monkeys were extremely destructive to agriculture and they did not have many natural predators.
“Dogs are not going to be able to handle a monkey, especially a group of them. That should not be a dog’s purpose,” she declared.
“In terms of control, there have been talks about what we call culling; that would be to euthanise the monkeys, but that is not always the best option.
“Maybe contraceptive methods; birth control methods for monkeys because they really don’t breed that often, so it wouldn’t be hard with money and resources, even vets, and euthanise the injured or unhealthy animals and more deterrent methods by farmers to keep the monkeys away from their crops.”
Moseley also called for a decrease in the trade of monkeys as pets as they did not make good ones. (HLE)