Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Villagers in Sierra Leone and Nigeria hunt Trichechus senegalensis for their meat (Reeves et. al. 1988). They have developed elaborate means of trapping the animals which they eventually kill with harpoons or guns (Sikes 1974 and Robinson 1971). In contrast to this, villagers in Cameroon have a different perception of Trichechus senegalensis. They do not like the taste of the meat and they believe that Trichechus senegalensis are fierce animals that become violent when attacked. Nigerian fishermen are often responsible for the poaching of Trichechus senegalensis in Cameroon (Grigione 1996). It has also been reported that the skin of Trichechus senegalensis has medicinal and therapeutic properties (Reeeves et. al. 1988).