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Caribbean Islanders to eat Monkeys?

25,000 primates could become prime meats

Caribbean Islanders to eat Monkeys?
Danielle de Wolfe
04 October 2011

When the rabbit population exploded in Australia in the 1950s, they introduced a fatal disease - myxomatosis - to reduce it. But the residents, of St. Kitts and Nevis, a two-island Caribbean federation, are considering something even more controversial to control their soaring monkey numbers - eating them.

The vervet monkey has been a feature of life in the islands since being introduced via African slave ships hundreds of years ago, becoming a popular sight for tourists, who contribute heavily to the local economy.

But a recent surge in population - to around 25,000, half the number of humans - has devastated the islands' agriculture, with the animals ruthlessly gorging on any crops they can get their hands on. In addition, their behaviour has become more aggressive, with reports increased attacks on crops, and even muscly male monkeys with six-pack abs.

Options to control numbers include euthanasia, selling them, using them to manufacture dog food, or the once-traditional option: eating them.

"When you skin it you'd be surprised at how much meat some of those monkeys have on their bones," said Joseph Kelly, a St. Kitts resident in his 60s, in favour of the culinary route. "Cook it up in a stew, well, it's very nice, very flavourful. Tastes a lot like goat. Why, I'd like some right now."

[via NBC]

Image: Rex