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Survey of Wild Animals Used in Zoo-Therapy at Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria  

Oladapo Olukoya Oduntan1 , Abiodun Akinyemi2 , Olugbemiga Ojo2 , Oladipo Ogunyode2 , Oluwatosin Adesina2
1 Department of Forestry and Wildlife Mgt, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Nigeria
2 Department of Wildlife and Ecotourism Mgt, University of Ibadan, Nigeria
Author    Correspondence author
International Journal of Molecular Zoology, 2012, Vol. 2, No. 9   doi: 10.5376/ijmz.2012.02.0009
Received: 05 Nov., 2012    Accepted: 13 Nov., 2012    Published: 05 Dec., 2012
© 2012 BioPublisher Publishing Platform
This is an open access article published under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Preferred citation for this article:

Oduntan et al., 2012, Survey of Wild Animals Used in Zoo-therapy at Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria, Intl. J. of Molecular Zoology, Vol.2, No.9, 70-73 (doi: 10.5376/ijmz.2012.02.0009)

Abstract

This study was done to bring to limelight wild animals and their by-products that are used as alternative therapy in the state capital of Oyo State, Nigeria. Bode market was purposively selected in Ibadan for the study because it is the major market that attracts weavers and sellers of traditional medicines both within and outside of the state in the capital city. Primary data were collected through the use of structured questionnaires administered to all traditional medicine sellers that were ready to respond in the market. A total of eighty nine respondents and questionnaire were completed. The wild animal whose uses were mentioned by at least five persons is reported in this study. Leopard’s hide, Civet cat’s anus, Mongoose’s anus, Gorilla’s penis, Patas Monkey’s skull, Squirrel’s hair, whole Squirrel, Porcupine’s intestine, Pangoline’s head, Aadvark’s bone and Warthogs’s legs; were found to be used in the treatment of anti snake venom, prevention of convulsions, boost immunity against fever, preparation of anti-poison drugs, cure for whooping cough, preparation of anti-poison drugs, preparations for preventing convulsion, treatment for stomach ache, preparation of drug to control bleeding, treatment for backache and prevention of lameness respectively. The study also revealed that Crocodile’s intestine were used in preparing anti-poison drugs; Puff adder’s intestine in use for prevention of adultery in women; Python’s bone for the treatment of backache and spinal cord disorder among others. Policy recommendations were made based on the outcome of the study.

Keywords
Wildlife; Alternative medicine; Treatment; Cure

Introduction
Alternative therapy is a variety of therapeutic or preventive healthcare practices that are not typically taught or practiced in traditional medical communities and offer treatments that differ from standard medical practice. Homeopathy, herbal medicine and acupuncture are types of alternative medicine. The earliest record of using plants for healthcare by Chinese people can be traced back to as early as 2 700 B.C. yet the medical properties of animals were first identified some two thousand years ago where 65 types of animals were described (Bai, 1988). Plants have not lost their healing properties and the knowledge of plants in the traditions is still profound. At the same time there is a rapid resurgence of interest in natural medicine throughout the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that as many as 80% of the world's more than six billion people rely primarily on animal and plant-based medicines. Over 90% of Nigerians in rural areas and about 40% of the population living in urban area depend partly on traditional medicines (Sofowora, 1984; 1997; FAO, 2001). Ingredients sourced from wild plants and animals are not only used in traditional medicines, but are also increasingly valued as raw materials in the preparation of modern medicines and herbal preparation. Modern medical care is only accessible to urban people. In 1991, for instance, there were only 7 760 medical practitioners for 88 541 501 people in Nigeria (F.O.S., 1996), a ratio of 1:11 407.

Animals and products derived from different organs of their bodies have constituted part of the inventory of medicinal substances used in various cultures since ancient times; such uses still exist in traditional medicine. The healing of human ailments by using therapeutics based on medicines obtained from animals or ultimately derived from them is known as zoo-therapy. As Marques (1994) states, "all human culture which presents a structured medical system will utilize animals as medicines". The phenomenon of zoo-therapy is marked both by a broad geographical distribution and very deep historical origins. In modern societies, zoo-therapy constitutes an important alternative among many other known therapies practiced worldwide. Wild and domestic animals and their by-products (For example, hooves, skins, bones, feathers, and tusks) form important ingredients in the preparation of curative, protective and preventive medicine. In medicine, the development of new drugs and treatments depends greatly on wildlife and wildlife habitat. In fact, most pharmaceutical products were discovered or developed by studying wild species, not invented on the basis of the principles of chemistry. Many modern remedies contain one or more ingredients derived from a wild plant or animal. One familiar example is aspirin. Its active ingredient is salicin, which is found in the bark of willow trees. A more recent example is taxol, a compound derived from the bark of the western yew in the old-growth forests in British Columbia. Taxol damages cancerous cells but not normal ones, and is being used to treat various kinds of cancers (Lev and Owen, 2003). Of Canada’s 134 native tree species, 38 have one or more recorded medical uses according to aboriginal, folk, or modern medical sources (Lev and Owen, 2003). Frogs may one day be the source of some astonishing medicines. Guo et al (1997) reported that researchers in Australia, Japan, and the United States have found numerous medical uses for compounds extracted from the secretions of frogs, such as a non-addictive painkiller 200 times more powerful than morphine, antibiotics, a possible treatment for schizophrenia, and natural glue that could replace stitches after surgery. The natural world is indeed a potent medicine chest. This study was done to bring to limelight wild animals and their by-products that are used as alternative therapy in the state capital of Oyo State, Nigeria.

1 Results and Discussion
Wild animals regarded as Mammals and their parts that were in use in alternative therapy at the study area (Table 1) include: Grey duikers intestine which is used in the treatment of stomach ache; Buffalo’s bone, used in protecting against vomiting. Bushbuck’s head was also on sale as part of ingredient used in curing leprosy. In addition, the skin and placenta were also on sale for the prevention of sleeping sickness. Other Mammals and their by-products in use are: Leopard’s hide, Civet cat’s anus, Mongoose’s anus, Gorilla’s penis, Patas Monkey’s skull, Squirrel’s hair, whole Squirrel, Porcupine’s intestine, Pangoline’s head, Aadvark’s bone and Warthogs’s legs; which are used in the treatment of anti snake venom, prevention of convulsions, boost immunity against fever, preparation of anti-poison drugs, cure for whooping cough, preparation of anti-poison drugs, preparations for preventing convulsion, treatment for stomach ache, preparation of drug to control bleeding, treatment for backache and prevention of lameness respectively.


Table 1
Wild animals (mammals) and their by-products used in alternative therapy at the study area


Another class of wild animals regarded as reptiles that were used in alternative therapy in the study area and their corresponding uses include (Table 2): Whole tortoise which the respondents said could be used in the treatment of chest pains; Crocodile’s intestine used in preparing anti-poison drugs; Puff adder’s intestine in use for prevention of adultery in women; Python’s bone for the treatment of backache and spinal cord disorder; as well as Python’s fat which are used to cure rheumatism, broken bones and joints.


Table 2 Wild animals (reptiles) and their by-products used in alternative medicine at the study area


Other types of Wild animals (Table 3) used in alternative therapy at the study area include: Monkeys’ head, Snail’s carcass, Python’s head, Whole Chamelion, Duicker’s horns and whole crickets used in the preparation of concussion for curing mental disorder, treatment of Asthma, treatment of lunatism, cure for dizziness, resuscitation, cold and controlling depreciating memory respectively. Also, various part of the quail birds and the eggs are sold for treating ailment such as high blood pressure, arthritis, as well as in treating skin infections.


Table 3 Other wild animals and their by-products used in folkloric medicine at the study area


2 Conclusion and Recommendation

Contributions of Wildlife products to national health sector cannot be overemphasized. This has really supported Nigeria’s health institution especially in rural and remote areas where health services are scarcely available, thus ensuring affordable and effective care for all. Notwithstanding, for maintenance of appropriate standard and product quality, traditional medicine traders and practitioners must abide with good ethnics in their profession. Entrance into the trade and profession should be monitor and guided by the appropriate authorities like the National Agency for Food, Drug Law Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Government should also formulate policies that guide the operations of the people involved and follow up for adequate implementation with feedback mechanism in place.

3 Methodology
3.1 Study Area

The study was conducted in Bode market, Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. As indicated by Filani (1994), about 72% of the markets traders were involved in this business. These markets operate business during the day from about 8:00 a.m till late in the evening. By contrast, a few of the markets still operate periodic marketing, when more sellers and buyers come from far and near beyond the state boundary. Figure 1 shows samples of wild animal product displayed for sale in the market.


Figure 1 Some of the wild animal parts displayed for sale in one of the respondent’s shop that was visited


3.2 Method of Data Collection
Bode market was purposively selected from Ibadan for the study because it is the major market that attracts weavers and sellers of traditional medicines both within and outside of the state in the capital city.

Primary data was used for this study. The primary data were collected through the use of structured questionnaires administered to all traditional medicine sellers that were ready to respond in the market. Interviews were conducted orally in the native language of the people to prevent information distortion and better understanding.

Extensive interview was conducted with the key informant who happens to be the Iya Oloja (leader of the medicinal traders in the market). A total of eighty nine respondents and questionnaire were completed. The wild animal whose uses were mentioned by at least five persons is reported in this study.

Reference
Bai Q.Y., 1988, Farming of medicinal wildlife, China Forestry Press, Bejijing, pp.585

FAO, 2001, Non-wood forest products in Africa: A regional and national overview, pp.283-289

Federal Office of Statistics (F.O.S.), 1996, Annual abstract of statistics, Lagos, Nigeria, pp.462

Filani M.O., 1994, Ibadan region, Geography Department, University of Ibadan, Rex Charles Publication

Guo Y.F., Zou X.Y., Chen Y., Wang D., and Wang S., 1997, Sustainability of wildlife use in traditional Chinese medicine (Endangered species Scientific Commission, PRC), China Environment Science Press, Beijing, pp.1-3

Lev E.L., and Owen S.V, 2003, Association of cancer patients’ quality of life, symptoms, moods, and self-care self-efficacy with family caregivers’ depression, reaction, and health, Self-care, Dependent-care, and Nursing, The Journal of the International Orem Society, 10(2): 3-12

Marques J.G.W., 1994, A fauna medicinal dos índios Kuna de San Blas (Panamá) e a hipótese da universalidade zooterápica (abstract), Anais da 46a Reunião Anual da SBPC, pp.324

Sofowora E.A., 1984, Medicinal plants and traditional medicine in Africa, Published in association with Spectrum Book Ltd. (Ibadan) by John Wiley Books and Sons, pp.5

Sofowora E.A., 1997, Cultivation and processing of medicinal and aromatic plants: Situation report on Africa conservation of medicinal and aromatic plants, National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRI), Abuja, Nigeria, 18th-20th Mar., pp.27

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