There has a been a 'fashion' for hunting in recent years. Hunting and consumption of bush meat is linked with machismo and status which is neither logical or sensible, yet the market still flourishes, and as the animals become rarer the prices get higher.
A fine line differentiates poaching from hunting in Trinidad & Tobago. Many claim to be hunters but often flaunt the laws, and hunt outside legal times and areas, making them poachers. This illegal activity, wipes out animals from our forests and further jeopardizes our bio-diversity. Some of our species are endangered and protected and therefore illegal to hunt at any time, but regardless they are often the targets of those who would seek to profit from their removal from our ecosystem.
What rural communities are beginning to realise is that wildlife is worth more alive and in their natural environment benefiting the entire community, than enriching one person short term. It is very easy to take the animals out of the forest or the sea but very hard, sometimes impossible to put them back - once they are gone they are gone - and along with them any potential for eco-tourism or other long term benefit they may bring.
This silky anteater was poached from the forest on Trinidad. Police officers caught and prosecuted the perpetrators.
Green iguanas are also disappearing from our forests in huge numbers to fuel this pointless and destructive fad.
A baby opossum brought to ECWC. One of nine found inside the pouch of their mother when she was shot for bush meat.