News / Africa

Amid Ebola Scare, Nigeria Shuns Dancing Monkeys, Bush Meat

A woman prepares soup to sell on a street in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 7, 2014.
A woman prepares soup to sell on a street in Lagos, Nigeria, Aug. 7, 2014.
Heather Murdock

Nigeria is cracking down on hunting and discouraging the use of wild animals for entertainment to stave off the spread of Ebola.  But as the busy hunting season approaches at the end of the summer rains, some hunters say regardless of the risk, they will go back to work. 

 In Kaduna, northern Nigeria Monday, six men from a remote village came to town with small baboons looking for an audience.  

Usually when animal trainers come to the city, people flock to watch monkeys dance in trousers or baboons mimic farmers and herders.
 
But no one wanted to be near the animals. 

“I can never, for now, allow even my children to go to watch either monkey or anything animal," said Shola Adebayo, a father of five explaining his decision to stay far away.
 

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Since July, when Nigeria recorded its first Ebola case, the government has conducted a massive nationwide campaign, encouraging sanitation and discouraging interaction with animals and “bush meat”, which can spread the disease to people, who pass it to each other through bodily fluids.
 
Nearly 1,400 people have died of Ebola since the outbreak began in February, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea. Over the weekend, the Democratic Republic of Congo was the fifth country to record Ebola deaths this year. However because Congo has identified a different strain of Ebola, some analysts say its outbreak may be unconnected to the West Africa outbreak.
 
Ahmed Maiyakim, a spokesman for the Kaduna State government, says his state is now enforcing already-in-place hunting bans to keep hunters away from animals and to halt the sale of bush meat.

Click to enlargeClick to enlarge
x
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

“We have a responsibility to safeguard the lives, the welfare of our people.  So we are calling on them to abide by the provision of the law and ensure that we don’t get into things that are inimical to the society, things that is dangerous to your health.  Things that can lead you to death," Maiyakim said.

According to hunters, enforcing this ban is not difficult when heavy rains keep most of them at home.
 
Musa Maibigidar, who makes his living hunting monkeys and other animals to be sold as meat at the market, says  the local hunters’ union has agreed not to hunt for now, but they will go back to work when the weather is dry.
 
Maibigidar believes officials who say Ebola can be transmitted from animals to people - even though this has never happened in Nigeria, where people have been eating bush meat as long as anyone can remember.
 
Maibigidar says for now, people aren’t even buying bush meat for fear of Ebola.  But like the hunters, he thinks people will eventually be more afraid of hunger than disease.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regreti
X
Zana Omer
March 28, 2015 1:19 AM
The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

The Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Hi-tech Motorbike Helmet's Goal: Improve Road Safety

In cities with heavily congested traffic, people can get around much faster on a motorcycle than in a car. But a rider who is not sure of his route may have to stop to look at the map or consult a GPS. A Russian start-up company is working to make navigation easier for motorcyclists. Designers at Moscow-based LiveMap are developing a smart helmet with a built-in navigation system, head-mounted display and voice recognition. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Traditional push-rim wheelchairs create a lot of stress for arm, shoulder and neck muscles and joints. A redesigned chair, based on readily available bicycle technology, radically increases mobility while reducing the physical effort. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Virginia Tavern Takes Patrons Back to Medieval Times

European martial arts are not widely practiced and are unknown by most people. A tavern in Old Town Alexandria, outside Washington, wants to change this by promoting these fighting techniques from medieval times. Through combining visual arts, martial arts and culinary arts, this tavern brings medieval history back to life. VOA's Yang Lin and Helen Wu report.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More