Friday, Sept. 12
Limbe, Cameroon

Monkey meat is a delicacy in Cameroon.

It’s illegal to kill most primates, including endangered gorillas and chimpanzees, but there’s still a market for bushmeat. So monkeys and the like are taken from the rainforest, destined for the dinner plate.

The lucky ones end up alive at the Limbe Wildlife Center, a primate refuge that houses animals confiscated by authorities, as well as orphans left behind when their parents were killed. In the wooded sanctuary, various endangered species live in groups until they’re ready to return to the wild.

I visited the center last time I was in Limbe, but I was too exhausted to enjoy it. During this visit, I took my time walking around the place, listening to monkey cries and watching gorillas swing around their playgrounds, showing off for me.

Apes amaze me for one simple reason: they look and act so human. They even pose man-like threats to visitors, as this park sign warns.

Some visitors to the park end up adopting a primate, pledging enough money to feed them for a year.

But posters at the center offered some less costly ideas for how concerned citizens can help victims of the bushmeat trade, including this suggestion, my favorite:
“Don’t eat endangered species!”

Maybe now you’ll think twice the next time you consider ordering gorilla for dinner.

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