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What Countries Eat Monkeys?

In Africa

In Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic, Liberia, and in many other sections of West or Sub-Saharan Africa, people have survived civil conflicts, famine, or other calamities.

Wartimes and poor crop growing conditions have left them neither with much access to food nor with much money to buy it. As a result, many of them resorted to killing wild animals for sustenance. In Africa, they seem to enjoy the meat because it has a soft and juicy feel in the mouth.

More African countries that eat monkeys include Cameroon, the Republic of Congo and South Sudan. Different ways of preparing it include boiled, fried, or grilled – especially at outdoor festivals. People of Congo, in particular, view this meat as an essential food item, and many of the people who live in Africa only make about a dollar per day as of 2017.

In North America

The United States

Up until 2007, mass monkey meal imports occurred. People had supplies shipped to them in ways authorities couldn’t easily tell what kind of meat it was. However, the U.S. Government has made it illegal to import bush meat, and people who do might get fined $250,000 USD.


Mexico didn’t eat as much monkey meat as it did before 2010. It’s still illegal to hunt this animal from March 1-October 31. Regardless, many people do hunt for them all year round despite the restrictions.

In Asia and The Pacific


Monkey meat has traditionally been viewed as a delicacy in this country. However, Guangdong banned the consumption of monkey meat in 1934. This includes no monkey brains consumption.


People in this location do eat monkeys. However, two kilograms of monkey meat was confiscated in Stung Treng. This happened in October 2016.


Indonesia does not widely practice the eating of monkey meat at meals. However, a small group of people in Sulawesi, known as the Minahasan do eat them.


Images of monkey carcasses meant for consumption in Chhattisgarh go viral, despite animal rights activist protects. Monkeys are sacred in most parts of India west of the Siliguri corridor, but some people in the country eat them. It’s not legal, however, at least not as of 2020.


Japan considers monkey meat a special treat. However, they rarely eat it here. Supposedly, some post-partum Japanese women eat it after their babies are born to revitalize their bodies.


As of 2017, Vietnam still eats monkey brains. Apparently, it’s a popular dish at least as of that time.

The Dangers of Eating Monkey

In 2013, West Africa suffered the most widespread outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in history. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported a total of 11,310 deaths and 28,616 suspected cases of EVD.

A year before this, African scientists warned that eating monkey meat could cause potentially fatal, infectious diseases. Does this mean that monkey meat causes Ebola?

Potential Ebola Risk

Researchers haven’t fully confirmed that eating monkey meat does cause Ebola. However, they do suspect that the obstinate recurrence of virus in African nations didn’t happen by chance.

Some scientists believe that anyone who consumes monkeys, gorillas, chimps, or bats could catch the deadly virus. American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) seems to support that point of view. On the other hand, properly cooked food may diminish the chance of contracting any infection normally caused by exposure to raw meat.

Consumption of monkey meat is prohibited in many countries. As such, it may be unofficially available via illegal channels in additional countries not listed here.

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How many countries eat monkeys?

Around 12 different countries are known to still eat monkeys, even though some of these countries have outlawed the practice.

Frequently Asked Questions