An extreme weather event in Sierra Leone precipitates a mass slaughter of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus used for human consumption and the loss of a national icon

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.15641/abb.v3i.1391

Abstract

We report on an extreme weather event that occurred in Freetown, Sierra Leone in May 2023 which prompted a mass slaughter of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus. Rain soaked, grounded birds were caught by hand then slaughtered and prepared for human consumption. One bird was rescued and subsequently released. Underlying issues of mythology and symbolism associated with the incident are conveyed in a brief video clip for which an English translation is provided. We advocate a public awareness campaign communicating the valuable clean-up services that Hooded Vultures provide in the urban environment and we mention on-going survey work in Freetown. A brief history of the 400 year old iconic Cotton Tree that was destroyed in the storm and which housed the roosting vultures is included.   

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Published

2023-10-02

How to Cite

Barlow, C. R. and Kimbo, M. (2023) “An extreme weather event in Sierra Leone precipitates a mass slaughter of Hooded Vultures Necrosyrtes monachus used for human consumption and the loss of a national icon”, Afrotropical Bird Biology:<br /> Journal of the Natural History of African Birds, 3. doi: 10.15641/abb.v3i.1391.

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Section

Short communications