Hunters, Locals Kill Chimpanzees, Use Meat To Make Pepper Soup In Bayelsa
Outrage has been expressed by Nigerians after it was discovered that residents of Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State had killed chimpanzees and used their meat to make pepper soup. The killings occurred at the Edumanom Forest Reserve in the state, and photos of the hunters proudly displaying the animals they had killed were shared on Facebook. One Ebiowei posted a photo of “Chimpanzee meat pepper soup” which he had consumed with yoghurt, captioning it “Gunned down by a hunter in the forest today at Nembe, Bayelsa state. A good meal.”
Environmentalists have raised the alarm, fearing that if the federal and state governments do not take further steps to protect these endangered species, they may be hunted and eaten into extinction. Morris Alagoa, the Project Officer of Environmental Right Actions (ERA) Niger Delta Resource Centre in the state, commented that there appears to be a lack of seriousness and follow through actions on the part of the authorities in both the state and federal levels.
Mr. Priye Kiyaramo, a renowned tourist and SSA to the Governor on Tourism, said that infant chimpanzees are frequently taken alive and sold in cities as pets. A writer and campaigner for Good Governance, Social Justice and Equality, stressed the importance of preserving the Edumanom Forest Reserve, noting that there is much to be gained from ecotourism, citing Kenya’s success in this field. They noted that forest products could also bring in money to the economy of the state, if illegal deforestation activities were stopped and the ecosystem was preserved.
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