A man, armed with an AK-47 rifle, killed a monkey in a Nigerian forest and dragged the carcass home but unknown to him, the baby of the slain monkey had clung to its mother’s remains.
The incident happened in Akwa Ibom State, South-south Nigeria.
It was the man’s wife who discovered the tiny baby monkey and later donated it to the Biodiversity Preservation Centre, Uyo, according to Edem Eniang, a professor of Wildlife at the University of Uyo, who narrated the incident to PREMIUM TIMES, 29 January.
The monkey is a Red-capped Mangabey species. The woman and her family nicknamed it AK-47 because of the story around it.
Mr Eniang is the head of the Biodiversity Preservation Centre, Uyo.
“When the woman wanted to prepare the meat for bushmeat she discovered there was this baby clinging to the dead mother. As a woman she felt so bad, she pulled the baby off and ran somewhere, bought prepared formula and kept feeding the baby until the eyes were opened, until it grew. She kept it for approximately two years – November 28, 2022, made it two years in her house as she told me,” Mr Enang told PREMIUM TIMES.
“When I told her about the Biodiversity Preservation Centre Nigeria, what we were doing to safeguard the endangered species of Nigeria, she quickly donated the animal.
“When her husband quarrelled with her (for giving out the monkey), she told the husband that this monkey always has an erection when he sees women, it means he needs a partner, and I said to her there are other monkeys in BPC (Biodiversity Preservation Centre) when he comes he would have other monkeys to play with. That’s how she donated the monkey,” Mr Eniang said.
Red-capped Mangabey is classified as “vulnerable” in the IUCN Red List of Threatened species because of its decreasing population.
Animals from the wild, otherwise called bushmeat, are considered a rich source of protein for many Nigerian families.
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Over 70% of urban Nigerians have consumed bushmeat in their lives, according to research conducted in 2020 by Wildaid, an organisation that is working to reduce the consumption of wildlife globally.
Mr Enang and his centre have been at the forefront of the campaign against bushmeat consumption in Nigeria.
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