that wild chimpanzees face is the bushmeat trade. Bushmeat
refers to the non-traditional killing of non-game wild animals for
meat. Although you and I could never imagine eating a chimpanzee,
some people consider them a delicacy. But, bushmeat can contain
diseases putting the consumer at risk. In some areas, it is a
cultural tradition to hunt for animals, including chimpanzees, in
the local forests.
These people have been hunting
chimpanzees for generations, and changing ideas that have been
around for so long is no easy task. However, the chimpanzee is an
endangered animal and, if you have read some of the previous pages,
there are many ways in which we are similar. It is exceedingly
important that we as a human race work to stop traditional hunting
of our cousins, the chimpanzees, in order to ensure their future
existence in the wild.
The bushmeat trade also contributes
to the selling of live chimpanzees for entertainment or other
purposes. When mothers are hunted and killed for meat, the babies
are often taken and sold to people who want to use them for
entertainment or as pets.
There are many difficulties encountered when trying to
fight the killing of and trade of chimpanzees for bushmeat and entertainment purposes. A lot of money can
be made from this trade because of the demand for
chimpanzee meat in some areas, and many people will
illegally kill chimpanzees out of desperation to support
themselves and their family. An important step that can
help to reduce bushmeat trade is educating the local
people of alternative practices and trades that can be
used to support their families. We also have to work to
educate people about the chimpanzees themselves. We need
to clearly show the close relation between people and
chimpanzees in a positive way. With education, we as
humans can hopefully ignite and fuel a love of
chimpanzees in hearts and minds of our own species,
and, as a result, reduce the demand for prevalence of
the bushmeat trade.
When people are caught illegally hunting
chimpanzees, they are punished, but no punishment is
severe enough to make up for the killing of this
beautiful, amazing, and endangered relative of ours.
It is also very hard to enforce the laws because
people can sneak in and out of the forest without
being caught. As deforestation by logging companies
becomes more prevalent, a problem for chimpanzees in
itself, access in and out of the forests becomes
increasingly easier. Park rangers and law
enforcement officials need extra support to help
fight against the bushmeat trade.
Message from CAC'ers
If we all work together, we can hopefully
make a difference for chimpanzees by eliminating the
bushmeat trade of chimpanzees.