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Manatee killed in Niger

I received news from my colleague Boureima Boubacar in Niger that an adult female manatee was killed by a hunter on June 11 in Niamey, the capital. Several days before, a group of approximately 6 manatees had been seen in the area and from the description of their behavior, it sounds like it was a mating herd. Boureima called a local TV reporter and they went to the site to do a report about the importance of protecting the West African manatee. Unfortunately someone still killed this female, and even though it’s great that Boureima was able to get samples for genetics and other analyses, it’s a shame people can’t respect this rare species. I’m not sure if the hunter faced any penalty.

To see Boureima’s report and photos, check out this webpage (it’s only in French though). The map shows that the manatee died right in downtown Niamey, pretty amazing that they are even still found in this urban area.

The sad truth is, manatees are regularly killed everyday in Africa, but we only rarely hear about it. Until we have more people on the ground, monitoring and trying to get enforcements enacted, as Boureima did, we won’t even know the true extent of it.

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