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Colobus Monkey Faces Extinction in Uganda

Christine Nakayenze, a game warden at Mountain Elgon national park says the Bagishu traditional dancers who go for the circumcision (imbalu) dance hunt down the colobus monkeys for their skin.
black and white colobus-monkey

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A rare monkey type found on the slopes of mountain Elgon, Virunga and Malamagambo forest is on the brink of extinction. 

A country census carried out in 2012 found the black and white, red and blue colobus monkey numbers had dwindled to 1,110 from 4,010 in 2002, but game wardens at Mountain Elgon, Queen Elizabeth and the Virunga national park forest reserves say the numbers are less. They are killed because of their skin and meat among various communities in Uganda.

Stephen Nyadru, a warden at Queen Elizabeth says the colobus monkeys give birth to one offspring at a time after four months but can live for 30 years which makes them interesting. Nyadru, says that it is easy to catch a colobus monkey once it is off the trees, which makes it is easier for poachers to hunt down.

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Christine Nakayenze, a game warden at Mountain Elgon national park says the Bagishu traditional dancers who go for the circumcision (imbalu) dance hunt down the colobus monkeys for their skin. Nakayenze says between April and July 2020, at least four colobus monkeys have been killed by unknown assailants.

The skin of the colobus monkey is bestowed on the head of the circumcised male as a sign of prestige 

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According to the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA) conservation tariff of 2020 -2022, tracking and experiencing golden colobus monkeys cost USD 160.

Bashir Hangi, UWA Public Relations Manager says the reason for charging this fee is because they are heavily endangered, and the reason why during covid-19 the enforcement and conservation team was boosted in number at wildlife national parks and reserves. At least 500 poachers were arrested across the country between February and July 2020. 

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The colobus monkeys are born in various colors that are interesting to watch for tourists, but they also have interesting behavioral traits like carrying their young by the mouth, they have fingers, live in congresses under an organized social entity led by a male. 

In their groups, they are quite inquisitive through observation in trying to understand what happens to the rest of the congress. The blue colobus monkeys are shy, communicate to others and hide away from humans, a thing that makes them more interesting to find.

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