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

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid