Lemurs Added to Bush-meat Menu
Until a March coup d'etat stirred up political unrest on the African island nation of Madagascar
, lemurs had largely escaped the fate of other primates hunted as bush meat. That has changed, conservationists reported in August.
Criminal gangs are now fueling demand for the primates among well-to-do restaurant patrons.
The turn of events is one of the more visible conservation setbacks since President Marc Ravalomanana was ousted from office and all foreign funding to keep the nation's national parks running was cut off.
"More than anything else, these poachers are killing the goose that laid the golden egg, wiping out the very animals that people most want to see and undercutting the country and especially local communities by robbing them of future conservation revenue," Russell Mittermeier, President of Conservation International, said in media statement.
Photograph courtesy Joel Narivony, Fanamby