Bushbaby traded for cell phone on Bfn buy and sell page

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The bushbaby who was traded for a cell phone.

A Mohol Bushbaby was recently handed over to the Bloemfontein Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) after it had been illegally traded for a mobile device on a local buy and sell page. The small nocturnal primate was traded when it was only two months old. About six months later, the Bfn SPCA received a tip off about a person on the Facebook page who was looking to exchange the wild animal for a cell phone.

The SPCA then started its investigation and traced the Bushbaby, also known as a nagapie, and found it in the care of an underaged girl. “When we arrived at the house, we saw a wooden box with the primate (nagapie) inside. We saw that its owners had given it salty snacks and flavoured yogurt. We noticed that it did not have proper food, which was also not good for its health and had not been cared for. There was also no environment enrichment for the poor primate. We explained to the owner that what they had done was wildlife trading, which was illegal,” said a member of the SPCA.

According to the organisation, the owner understood that what they had done was wrong and signed the primate over to the SPCA. “We understand that the primate is a cute animal but wouldn’t it be even cuter and happier if in the wild where it belongs? The SPCA believes that all wild animals belong in the wild. Imagine the stress the primate had to endure living in such conditions and not receiving proper food and care,” a member of the SPCA said.

The animal was then taken to the Johannesburg Wildlife Veterinarian Hospital for proper care.

Pierce van Heerden

pierce@mahareng.co.za