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

Video Obama to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, President says US will take leadership role for a global response to deadly Ebola virus that is ravaging West Africa More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid