Essam Al-Ghalib, Arab News
Publication Date: 
Thu, 2005-08-25 03:00

JEDDAH, 25 August 2005 — A young baboon was put to sleep at Tahlia International Veterinary Clinic recently, after it was found running about the streets with a chain embedded so deeply into its neck, that its spine was exposed.

“A gentleman walked into the clinic asking us to help this monkey. He said he had rescued it from the street and brought it here because he couldn’t remove the chain himself,” said Dr. Deborah Zahid, the clinic’s owner.

Once the chain was cut off however, the severity of the baboon’s injury became apparent and the decision was made to put him to sleep.

“The chain was padlocked on so tight, that we could not pull it, so we put him under to reduce the pain and stress, only to find out after the chain was cut off, that it was embedded into the skin at the back of the neck. His spine was showing so I gave the order not to wake him up,” Dr. Zahid said.

Dr. Zahid explained that this baboon was chained when it was younger and smaller. As it grew older and larger, no one adjusted its chain.

“Over time, the chain dug deeper and deeper into his neck constricting his breathing, his movement, his ability to swallow and reduced circulation to his brain. He must have been in a tremendous amount of pain,” Dr. Zahid explained.

The photos provided to Arab News — some of which are too graphic to print — show part of the baboon’s vertebrae protruding from a large hole at the back of his neck.

This was not the first time an animal had to be put to sleep at the clinic as a result of human negligence. Since the clinic opened, several animals have been brought in with physical deformities that caused tremendous pain and suffering over an extended period.

Arab News reported on a case several months ago where a young puppy was left with a broken bone protruding through his leg for more than a week, before being abandoned at the clinic’s entrance, alive and gangrenous.

“Some people don’t seem to understand that animals also feel pain. Can you imagine what kind of pain a human being would be in with such a wound? That is what the baboon felt,” Dr. Zahid added.

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