Kuhe eating among the Mijikenda

kuhePreparing Kuhe

Habitat destruction is the greatest threat to plants, animal and mammals. Damage has been done under the guise of improving environment for human food production.

Among the endangered species poached for hunted for food is the Brown rat (rodent) scientifically known as Rattas norvegicus). However, locally in Mijikenda it’s referred to as Kuhe.

It rarely lives far from human habitation and is also a serious pest upon human beings. It’s found in Asia and Africa.

Interestingly, Kuhe is one of the delicious meat to have been consumed by human being according to David Charo 26, a native of Kikambala Sub-county of Kilifi County.

In areas of Kwale, few parts of Mombasa and largely Kilifi County, Kuhe is a true delicacy that finds its way in some households’ tables at the region.

It was during this writer’s itinerary in Kikambala sub-county that he bumped into Mr. Charo preparing Kuhe for the meal.

‘‘This is the best meat ever because of its tenderness as compared to cow meat,’’ said Mr. Charo.

Kuhe’s preparation is not as elaborate as compared to any other animal aforementioned which involves slaughtering and skinning contrarily, when preparing Kuhe, after shooting with an arrow  stoning  or slaughtering depending on how it has been caught, fire is lit to help in shredding off fur from the body like the way the pig is done.

Thereafter, an incision using a knife is done at the abdomen where its split open to remove intestines. The meat is washed to drain blood then skewered by at least three skewers  across and one long skewer that is pricked to ground and made to recline towards  fire to roast gradually as its dowsed with lemon and salt to spice it ready for consumption with an accompaniment of ugali.

On the other hand, roasted Kuhe could be cooked in the coconut milk with added ingredients such as onions, ginger garlic and tomatoes.

The specific peace in Kikambala where one can be certain to find Kuhe is Bomani. The prized rodent is also omnivorous meaning it also feeds on meat and vegetation.

Kuhe is about 30 centimeters long and weighs slightly above 2kg. Among the poachers Kuhe could fetch between Ksh. 250 and Ksh. 300.

The sight of Kuhe excited this writer from the time it was being prepared upto the meal time when Mr. Charo and colleagues sat down to eat.

Kuhe can be trapped by a nest-like trap set-up at night at a given place. It’s woven by binding wire or sticks so cleverly that the bait is put into the trap. Immediately after entry through trap door it closes and there it is for catch.

Otherwise Kuhe burrows underground hence for it to be unearthed, it is dug during the day and fire lit to smoke it out of the burrow.

Moreover, finding Kuhe is a remotely possible task because inside the burrows there is formation of warren rabbit of interconnecting holes. As poachers dig at the entry thinking that it will lead to their prey, they often discover in shock after they are duped Kuhe is shrewd; it has both entry and exit point in case of danger around their habitat.

Generally why not try, Kuhe meat delicacy at home like beef, mutton and pork.

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