A Final Farewell with a Sprinkle of Glitter: Pet Crematories in Equatorial Guinea

In the tiny, oil-rich nation of Equatorial Guinea, pet crematories have emerged as a controversial phenomenon. While pet owners grapple with the loss of furry companions, a stark reality of urban living in the capital, Malabo, collides with deeply rooted cultural and religious beliefs.

Traditional options for pet burials are limited, expensive, or inaccessible to many. Enter the pet crematorium – a modern, sterile facility offering an unusual and surprisingly affordable solution. Pet owners can witness the process, choosing to sprinkle the ashes in scenic locations or returning them in personalized keepsakes like jewelry or glass vials.

Evolution of a Practice

Pet cremation was first introduced in Malabo in 2017, initially facing skepticism and criticism. Many Equatorial Guineans adhered to traditional beliefs that cremation was inappropriate for animals, viewing it as a human-exclusive practice. Religious objections were also raised, with some interpreting Islamic and Christian teachings as prohibiting the burning of animals.

However, the convenience, affordability, and hygiene benefits of crematories gradually swayed public opinion. As awareness grew and prices dropped, pet owners found solace in this new approach to grief.

Controversy Continues

Despite growing acceptance, the practice remains controversial. Some express concern over the potential for exploiting animals, with claims of unnecessary suffering for healthy pets. Others raise environmental questions, citing the release of potentially contaminated ashes into the atmosphere. Some traditional healers maintain their own methods of pet burials, claiming greater spiritual connection and efficacy.

A Cultural Divide?

The acceptance of pet crematories appears to be a privilege of urban populations. Rural communities, with limited access to such facilities, often resort to traditional burial practices, highlighting the disparity in pet-related infrastructure across the nation.

Future Uncertain

The future of pet crematories in Equatorial Guinea is uncertain. While the practice has become increasingly normalized in Malabo, its expansion to other parts of the country faces significant challenges. Cultural, religious, and logistical hurdles must be addressed to ensure equitable access to this evolving tradition.


1. Is pet cremation legal in Equatorial Guinea?

Yes, pet cremation is legal and regulated by the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries, and Environment.

2. How much does it cost to cremate a pet in Malabo?

Prices vary depending on the size and species of the pet, but expect to pay around $50-100.

3. Where can I scatter the ashes of my pet in Malabo?

Specific scattering locations are not designated, but owners can choose their own suitable places.

4. Are there any regulations regarding the handling of ashes?

Regulations are still developing, but it is recommended to consult with the crematorium for guidance.

5. Are there any alternatives to pet cremation available?

Traditional burial, natural burial grounds, and specialized pet memorial parks are available options.


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