Chimpanzee Bushmeat

Another problem 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.


Content provided by Canisius College students under the direction of Michael Noonan, PhD.