An African village's monkey guardian draws researchers

(iStock)
(iStock)

Gbetitapea - An Ivory Coast village where monkeys are sacred has drawn the interest of primatologists who hope the approach can help protect animals elsewhere in West Africa.

Daloa village appoints a monkey guardian who feeds them daily and buries them in a special part of the forest wrapped in a cotton shroud.

The practice has endured for generations after a former village chief said monkeys appeared to him in a dream and asked for protection.

Primatologist Karim Ouattara has taken an interest in such traditional beliefs in a region where forests are heavily exploited for food.

Around 200 researchers and conservationists are gathering later this month in Ivory Coast for the first congress of the African Primatological Society.

The society says 100 out of 179 types of African primates are threatened.

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