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My son lives in fear - Mother of boy attacked by baboon

29 March 2016, 21:17 Jeff Wicks, News24

Pietermaritzburg - A Richmond boy attacked by a baboon on a farm at the weekend bears the savage scars of the encounter, and continues to grapple with the emotional trauma of his brush with death.

His mother told News24 that he remains stricken by fear.

"He does not want to be left alone because when he is by himself, he thinks the baboon is going to come back," she said.

Seluleko Xaba, 6, had been at his family kraal on the Progress Farm when he was attacked by the rogue animal.

The baboon tore into the flesh on his back and buttocks, and also attacked his 10-year-old cousin.

The animal was later shot by farmer David Aardnesgaard, who had rushed to the house.

The two boys had been rushed to a local clinic, before Seluleko was transferred to Edendale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg because of the seriousness of his injuries.

"My son is crying all the time, he is still scared," his mother said.

"I had been at work and my son was at home with his grandparents when I got a call to say the baboon had bitten him.

"I was scared because I thought he was going to die. My child is not alright."

The Office of the KwaZulu-Natal Premier had yesterday intervened, accusing the farmer of violating the human rights of the workers that lived on his property.

"Following this incident, we have uncovered untold sufferings of families living on farms in Richmond. Families have complained bitterly that for years they have been fending off sustained attacks from a troop of baboons owned by the owner of the farm," they said in a statement.

"For years, family crops have been destroyed by these baboons exposing the families to food insecurity and abject poverty. Sadly, repeated pleas to the farm owner have been ignored. This is a clear indication that the welfare of baboons is the priority,” it read.  

Aadnesgaard previously denied the allegations levelled by the premier's office, maintaining it was an isolated incident.  

Attempts were being made on Tuesday to again speak to Aadnesgaard. 

- News24


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