The White-Throated Guenon, also known as the red-bellied monkey
and the red-bellied guenon, is a diurnal primate that lives on trees
of rainforests or tropical areas of Nigeria and Benin. They are
usually frugivores but insects, leaves, and crops are also in their
diet. They usually live in small groups of four to five individual
monkeys however, there have been groups of 30 discovered, and in
cases, some males wander alone. They are arboreal, living in moist
tropical forest and the wettest parts of dry tropical forest, however
they can also be found in secondary bush and old farmland. Males
weigh from 3.5-4.5 kg and females weigh 2-4 kg. Females give birth
to one offspring, which is a factor of decreasing population. They
were once considered extinct due to constant hunting for the fur
of their unique red belly and white front legs, but a small group
was subsequently found near the Niger River in 1988. They are still
considered an endangered species due to their decreasing population.
They are present within Nigerian forest reserves and sacred groves
in Benin, but hunting and logging restrictions are difficult to
enforce or nonexistent. They are one of the species that live in
the Guinean Forests of the West Africa Biodiversity Hotspot.
" . . . it is thought that the excess mortality resulting from
the 1974 famine may have been near 1.5 million. In demographic terms
it was quite as stunning a disaster as the war of 1971.
By the end of the year, the Bangladesh government stood exposed as
inept, indifferent and heartless. All its political credit had vanished.
Seventy distinguished Bangladeshi economists, lawyers and writers
issued a statement saying that the famine was man-made and had resulted
from 'shameless plunder, exploitation, terrorization, flattery, fraudulence
and misrule.' They added that the government was 'clearly dominated
by and…representative of smugglers and profiteers'"
-- Willem van Schendel, A History of Bangladesh. Cambridge
University Press: 2009, p 181.
it was our turn to eat
not a grain of rice
escaped through our fingers
nor the pilau
they came, hearing our burps
a million and more
the empty stretched hands
above their heads
they fought with dogs
at the roadside bins
unbellied, they lay
we don't talk about them
not for sorrow
least of all shame
recall would render
our buffet of 1974
Iftekhar Sayeed teaches English. He was born and lives
in Dhaka, Bangladesh. He has contributed to The Danforth Review,
Axis of Logic, Enter Text, Postcolonial Text, Southern Cross Review,
Opednews.com, Left Curve, Mobius, Erbacce, Down In The Dirt, The Fear
of Monkeys and other publications. Somewhat influenced by DHL, he
likes to write about the pong of society, as well as its deodorant:
He’s tempted at times to describe himself as, and feels himself to be,
a pongographer. He is also a freelance journalist. He and his
wife love to travel.