03 October 2007

Bush Meat

September 1

At one of the stops on the way to Mattru Jong from Bonthe, a pirogue full of meat pulled up to our boat. As they were loading it on I struggled to identify it until I saw a flipper and surmised that it was a manatee (further confirmation came when the head was added to the wicker basket on deck). This was disconcerting as, although I don't know if this manatee was actively hunted (it may have been injured by a propellor then put down), a lot of endangered animals end up as bushmeat. Some are common and even pests (such as bushpigs and grasscutters), but many other animals are killed indiscriminately.

Meanwhile, Alhagie, a young man sitting at the guesthouse, just mused that he could kill one of the bee-eaters constructing nests in the trees above us, if only he had a slingshot. He offers to catch one for me and I suggest we don't disturb them.

1 comment:

Jon said...

I'm so happy that didn't happen on my part of the trip. I love Manatees and that would easily have been the saddest part of my trip! Glad to see you are doing well and sound like you've gotten to travel to all the countries you'd hoped to. It's taken over a month but I finally got all my photos and stories from the trip posted. Thanks again Chris - this trip is going to be great!