By Brenda Yufeh Nchewnang-Ngassa
Although hunting of all species of animal is forbidden now due to reproduction, traders have ignored the law.
If you are currently looking for bush meat in the country's capital city, go right now to the busy Nkolndongo Market which is characterised by the display of fresh and smoked bush meat. Vendors there sell snakes as tall as a human being, striped civets, antelopes, rabbit, hind, hedgehog, pangolin and porcupines with spiky fur and lots of different kinds of monkeys.
In spite of the current ban in the hunting of all species of animals due to their reproduction period, traders in bush meat do not seem bothered by the fact that they are into a forbidden trade. Yesterday July 29, 2014 Cameroon Tribune (CT) visited the bush meat market at the Nkolndongo neighbourhood in Yaounde. Besides the enormous display of smoked bush meat of all sorts, the number of fresh meat available outweighs that which has been smoked.
While CT reporters went round the market showing interest in buying fresh pangolin, over 10 traders in pangolin, mostly women rushed forward with newly killed or life pangolin at different cost. Some of the pangolin sold at FCFA 4000 while others went up to FCFA 15,000.
But the surprising thing is that when CT reporter asked to know where the meat comes from, and whether it's legal or illegal, there was no luck in this as most of the traders went back to the corners they have placed their bush meat. Nobody was interested in answering any question from CT reporters other than the interest to sell at a profitable rate.
As CT reporters looked on in dismay, one woman, speaking from her corner said, "people come and sell it to us; I do not know where they come from. They just come from the bush". From all indication, the lady does not even know if the animals she sells are protected species. She is interested in selling bush meat to make ends meet. "I am waiting for the day when I might have a problem with the authorities," the lady added.
Traders in bush meat are not hiding in what they are doing, although there is a current announcement from the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife forbidding the hunting of all species of animal during this time regarded as their reproduction period. One of the guys at the Nkolndongo Market, specialised in cleaning animals after purchase said he was willing to discuss with the CT team in a private zone at a cost. When asked if he was aware of the fact that trading in all sort of animals was forbidden during this period, he vehemently said yes.
When asked why they are in such a business, he told CT reporters he cannot betray his mates unless he was given FCFA 5000. There are signs that people are making brisk business from bush meat and this is really a problem to forest guards as the hunting pressure keeps pressing on authorities who know that the animals need protection.