On the hunt with Central Africa’s ‘lost’ shark-toothed pygmy tribe

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New York Post:

In a small corner of the civil war-ravaged Central African Republic lives a tribe of strikingly small people struggling to keep their ancient culture intact.

The Ba’Aka, rarely seen by Westerners, stand between four and five feet tall and live a semi-nomadic life in the impenetrable jungles of the Dzangha-Sangha National Park, located in the Tri-National Protected Area that abuts Cameroon and the Republic of Congo.

Last year, I had the opportunity to go hunting with members of the tribe.

The Ba’Aka are legendary trackers with an encyclopedic knowledge of the forest, which has safeguarded them for thousands of years.

“Their knowledge helped them escape slave traders and evade conflicts,” explained Alon Cassidy, whose family runs the nearby Sangha Lodge and the Sangha Pangolin Project, which works to save the world’s most trafficked animal — the pangolin, a type of anteater — from extinction. “When people would attack or invade, they would just disappear back into the forest.”

The competition to hunt with outsiders is fierce, as it not only provides the Ba’Aka a ride into the dense jungle but added resources as visitors pay a fee for the “cultural activity”.

Read more at the New York Post

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