How to kill a monkey

An Efe (Pygmy) man making poison arrows for use in killing monkeys.

i-6875a4bc2492290e7c65ce684e05b89d-1980sEfeIturiMakingPoisonArrows2k-thumb-500x334-60601.jpg

Ituri Forest, Zaire. Photograph Copyrighted 1986 Greg Laden

The arrows are thin darts of wood, often made of palm. Large marantacae leaves serve as a bowl and as a ladle. The poison includes a large number of ingredients, and the specific recipes vary a great deal (and are often guarded). This concoction included the juice pounded from a vine that contains strychnine. About seven arrows are fired at a monkey, up in the trees, per strike (on average) and it takes about two strikes to bring down a monkey. Several dozen arrows are made at once, and when they are used they are not recovered (they rarely fall all the way back to the ground). They are fletched with a fragment of a leaf passed through a slit cut near the base with metal arrow or small knife. It is not uncommon for the archer to run along the ground shooting up into the trees as the monkeys move quickly across canopy leaping from branch to branch. For certain species of monkeys, the dominant male will make a stand and be th most likely killed. Also, females with infants are fairly vulnerable. Often, the monkey is wounded enough to die some time over the next day or so. When it does so, it falls to the ground and quickly starts to rot. The Efe’s dogs can then easily find the dead monkey from the smell. Monkey mean is very tough, lean, and has a strong taste.

Comments

  1. #1 Russell
    January 31, 2011

    What kind of monkeys do the efe hunt? Does the monkey troop leave the area after losing a member?

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    January 31, 2011

    They hunt all different sorts of primates. There are more primate species living in this area than anywhere else in Africa. The most common monkeys to bag, though, are mangabeys.

    I don’t believe that the monkeys leave the area, per se, but they do avoid the Efe at a smaller scale than that of their own home range. But they can’t do that forever. The Eve move frequently, and the monkeys are quite aware of when they are present vs. not.

  3. #3 Clara B. Jones
    January 31, 2011

    I have studied the incidence of and attitudes about hunting in Belize and elsewhere. Spider monkeys are prized as food items throughout their range in Central and South America. Locals report that spider monkeys are tasty and not ligamentous as, say, howler monkey flesh is said to be. Spider monkeys are primarily frugivorous which might correlate with their being prized for the high quality and taste of their meat. This notion might apply as well to other frugivorous primates.

  4. #4 peter
    January 31, 2011

    This notion might apply as well to other frugivorous primates.

    I’m glad i eat meat….on the other hand, why waste a good human having died from an accident.
    Canning would be one option.

  5. #5 Rich Wilson
    January 31, 2011

    Just because I can’t help but proof read:
    stand and be th most likely killed
    Monkey mean is very tough
    (I just wish I could proof my own stuff)

  6. #6 Jim Thomerson
    January 31, 2011

    I was in Belize back in the early ’70′s getting ready to go fish collecting with a local fish-interested person. He said let’s eat lunch first. He had shot a raccoon and dressed it before he gave it to the cook. He told her it was a monkey, because he knew she would not cook a raccoon. It was pretty good. At that time there were no monkeys in Belize due to some epidemic disease. I see that they are back now.

  7. #7 Jake
    February 1, 2011

    I’ve never understood how hunting with poison works. Doesn’t the poison get distributed with the bloodstream before it kills the animal? Doesn’t that render the meat, well, poisonous?

  8. #8 Greg Laden
    February 1, 2011

    Jake: It depends on the poison, but generally, no, it doesn’t. For the most part, the poison is metabolized in the animal. Most poison is very low dose to begin with. What would make a monkey dizzy so it falls out of a tree (and it is already wounded because the poison was delivered with a couple of arrows through the torso) would make a human a bit stoned, but the poison is already breaking down in monkey’s body. Then, the meat is cooked and I don’t know of any forager-used poisons that wouldn’t totally break down in cooking.

    The most severe poison of which I’m familiar is the Bushman’s, and that causes a bit of meat around the site of the arrow to “go bad” and that is cut out and discarded.

    I think Amazonian hunters have even more severe poison but I believe it is all alkaloids which would break down in cooking.

    Good question, though.

  9. #9 bunmi
    April 17, 2012

    need to kill off a clan of pest monkeys running all over the roof, destroying water storage tanks etc. Any advice?

  10. #10 Greg Laden
    April 17, 2012

    Get a stronger water tank?

  11. #11 Bunmi
    April 17, 2012

    ..may be. To drown them in!
    get serious!!

  12. #12 Greg Laden
    April 17, 2012

    The monkeys were there first.

  13. #13 rawat
    India
    September 16, 2013

    Useless creature Monkey menace is high & must be get rid off-please tell the poison for monkey to kill in city?

  14. #14 Greg Laden
    September 16, 2013

    Monkeys are good, let them be.

  15. #15 Pire Schulz
    April 28, 2014

    “Monkeys are good.”

    Can we think of a more ridiculous comment?

  16. #16 savage hunter
    london
    August 20, 2014

    I used to be a savage hunter. Hunting savages rids this world of ignorance. Look at africa today. Since mandelas monkeys took over south africa the country has go feral. Black sh 1t skins , commie bast ards.Never let a native rule himself. Look at the rersults! Hunt the savage like we did in angola and south africa.

  17. #17 Greg Laden
    August 20, 2014

    I normally wouldn’t let a comment like this on the site but this one belongs in a museum. Also, it might be a murder confession so that’s interesting.