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SPCA to lodge complaint against Natal Zoological Gardens owner

Thousands have signed a petition for the release of a primate named Opal from the enclosure.

The Kloof and Highway SPCA says it will lodge a case against the Natal Zoo Gardens owner Brian Boswell to have an orangutan released. Picture: /Emily CorkeEWN.
SPCA,Brian Boswell,Natal Zoo Gardens,Opal
Local

JOHANNESBURG – The Kloof and Highway SPCA says it will lodge a case against the Natal Zoological Gardens owner Brian Boswell to have an orangutan released.

Thousands have signed a petition for the release of the primate named Opal after claims that Boswell has been keeping her in isolation.

But Boswell denies claims that she's being mistreated, saying orangutans are naturally solitary.

The Kloof and Highway SPCA in Pietermaritzburg says it’s concerned for Opal's wellbeing with no play mate or structures inside her pen to stimulate her. 

Investigating Officer Cheri Cooke says she's begged Boswell to send Opal to a primate facility in the United Kingdom, where she can live with other animals - in a suitable enclosures. 

“Opal is in this barren, cell-like environment where she has no environmental enrichment whatsoever.” 

But Boswell says opal is content and has been for the past 30 years.

“They are completely solitary and why should she go and stay with other people she doesn’t know when she has been happy for 30 years? She was born here.” 

However, Cooke says opal needs to live in a primate dedicated facility and she will be meeting with prosecutors tomorrow to open a case.  

(Edited by Refilwe Pitjeng)


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