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Congo’s Green Pigeons May Go the Way of the Passenger Pigeon

Who would have known that one day the African green pigeons of the enigmatic and seemingly infinite Congo forests would ever need our help? Just the same as New Yorkers cannot imagine Central Park without their pigeons, we should not consider a Congo forest without green pigeons flying high above the forest canopy and congregating in the forest clearings. Over the last few decades, as wildlife becomes more and more depleted by war, unrest, and the booming bushmeat trade, millions upon millions of green pigeons have been caught in nets laid over “salt mud” in forest clearings. Alarmingly, they are left in the nets for hours and sometimes stored alive in sacks overnight, before being plucked alive, skewered and then smoked over a fire after having your neck broken. In case you were wondering? They are kept alive during this process to maintain freshness without refrigeration.

Read the rest of the story on the National Geographic Explorer’s Journal.