From the perspective of a Baka man

Excerpt from Axel Kohler study in the Republic of Congo, Conservation and Society: "...Examining the footprints of a gorilla, a Baka companion told me that we had now entered gorilla territory: ‘The gorilla is a soldier, man! When you enter his area and meet him, he is going to ask you for your passport. And you better have your papers in order, because he doesn’t like to fool around. If you haven’t got a laissez-passer, he will go after you, slap you in the face and kick you out of his territory.’ The image used here is one of a policemen or border patrol, administrative staff who are all non-local Bantu and professional soldiers. They use their power to control the movement of people and goods across the Congo-Cameroon border in a rather autocratic fashion. Not uncommonly, they extort money and services, lock people up overnight in a prison cell in town and are known for beating them up. For their part, gorillas are competitors for wild forest fruit, and occasionally raid fields and feed on agricultural produce. They thus tax human efforts in a different way than do policemen, but in a fashion that Baka experience as similarly unsubtle and arbitrary..."

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