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Bushmeat

Bushmeat hunting is common in sub-Saharan Africa's dense forests. It refers to the hunting of any animal which is not traditionally regarded as a desirable food, but is acceptable especially to poor city dwellers with few choices.

To the extreme horror of animal rights and Great Ape personhood advocates, bushmeat hunters began targetting gorilla, chimpanzee, and bonobo, as well as other primate species including the now-extinct Miss Waldron's Red Colobus[?]. This undid decades of conservation efforts.

Accordingly, most current reference to 'the bushmeat trade' refers to hunting of primates, specifically of Great Apes which some consider an ape genocide. An extreme view is that eating such closely related species is cannibalism.

As this terminology suggests, the issue of bushmeat hunting is highly politicized, with almost no support for the practice outside the African forests and cities where it is practiced. Many international efforts to stop it have been launched, especially in the US, UK, and Canada. In the countries where the hunting occurs, orphaned apes (deemed too fragile to survive on their own, but also deemed too small to be worth shooting and cutting up, to the hunters) are raised and returned to the wild, as part of these efforts.

In Cameroon where red gorilla[?] populations were especially endangered, the World Wildlife Fund launched an education campaign to teach children about Koko the gorilla, who learned sign language in an American zoo. As awareness of gorilla capacity to learn language and express feelings and care for pets spread, local support for gorilla hunting fell at about the same time. Critics of such efforts argue that there is dispute about the science and the actual language capacity of ape[?] species. However, few of these are supporters of the bushmeat trade, so criticism has in general been muted.

facts and figures

relation to conflict, poverty in different countries

See also: ape extinction, ape genocide, hunting, Africa



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