By Meishac Atkinson
Community Tourism in the village of Karasabai, seems to be threatened with the killing of giant anteaters which are fixtures and sights of amusement to visitors of the community. Karasabai is an Indigenous Village of Macushi Amerindians which is located in the Upper Takutu- Upper Essequibo, Region of Region 9.
The village is facing immediate threats to its tourism following reports of killings, injury and a decline of two of its major wildlife attractions, the Giant Anteater and the Sun Parakeets are living under the treat of extinction from the village and by extension the region as a result of hunting and other activities, both of the animals play a great part in contributing to the village economy.
“It was brough to my attention that a lot of giant anteaters are being killed by persons who come across these animals for sport, you will come across the Anteater killed and left to rot and it is not like these animals are a treats to anyone… for me, it is very saddening” Village Toshao Marlon Edwards told BIG Smith News Watch in an interview.
According to Toshao Edwards, this new development which is also unfortunate, pose an immediate threat not only to the wildlife themselves but also to the community which depends heavily on tourism, a sector which has already been hit hard by the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Toshao Edwards explained that the Anteaters aren’t as bold as they were before and would often flee when they come in contact with human as a result of human activities. He stressed that this is often very disappointing for tourists who travel to the community from various parts of the country and even abroad to see the creatures.
Sun Parakees also known as Sun Conure, are medium size parrots which according to available data, are found in the village of Karasabai. These birds, Toshao Edwards explained, have decreased over the years that represents a worrying trend as there are not much of the birds to see once persons for visit for tourism purposes.
Villagers stand to loos income should the community not get the help needed to stem this practice of killing and scaring the animals away. Tourism related activities in the community presents a ripple effect and spinoff for Karasabai as the respective service providers and other persons in the community also benefit.
The village leader in outlining plans that are being put in place to counter these threats stated that heavy focus would be placed on conservation, preservation and monitoring of wildlife. Further, he stated, persons being penalize for cruel to animals is not an option ruled out by the community.
Meanwhile, a NGOs has been seeking to work closely with the village and government to have more persons trained in villages to handle and deal with wildlife and the immediate threats.