The collection and consumption of animal carcasses is a common activity in forested areas of the Congo River basin and creates sustainability, conservation, and health concerns. Residents of the Tshuapa District reported collecting the remains of 5,878 animals from >30 species when surveyed about their wildlife consumption habits. Carcasses were discovered in varying degrees of decomposition and were often consumed at home or sold in local markets. The most commonly collected animals were Cricetomys gambianus (Northern giant pouched rat), Cercopithecus ascanius (red-tailed monkey), and Heliosciurus rufobrachium (red-legged sun squirrel). Many of the species recorded may be hosts of zoonotic pathogens, creating concern for spillover events.
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Vol. 51 • No. 3