Knowledge and Use of Traditional Medicinal Animals in the Arba Minch Zuriya District, Gamo Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Abstract views: 238 / PDF downloads: 147




Therapeutic animals, ethnozoology, indigenous knowledge, traditional medicine


Objective: To collect ethnozoological data in connection with medicinal animals and their products used by the inhabitants of the Arba Minch Zuriya region of Ethiopia and to put on record information on traditional treatments of diseases and disorders. Methods: The survey was conducted during the months of February to May 2018. Data were gathered through semi-structured surveys and depended on group discussions with 90 people, of which 17 were key and the remainder general informants. Results: Altogether 20 animal species comprising 12 mammals, one bird, three reptiles, two insects, and two fish were used in 30 distinctive ways to treat disorders of the eye and skin ailments such as anaemia and malaria as well as various other disorders and injuries. Twenty percent of all health problems involved the skin. Bovidae were the most important medicinal animals with a use of 14%, and bile was the most widely employed animal product. Conclusion: Traditional therapies involving animal species are still being practiced in rural areas of Ethiopia and this knowledge is of importance and should not get lost. However, Overexploitation and overhunting pose a serious threat to the therapeutic species. For the conservation and management of these species, the local residents’ cooperation and understanding are needed.


Metrics Loading ...


Alves RRN. Relationships between fauna and people and the role of ethnozoology in animal conservation. Ethnobiol Conserv.


Alves RRN, Souto WMS. Ethnozoology: A brief introduction. Ethnobiol Conserv. 2012;4:1-13.

Megu K, Chakravorty J, Meyer-Rochow VB. An ethnographic account of the role of edible insects in the Adi tribe of Arunachal

Pradesh, North-East India. In Halloran A, Flore R, Vantomme P, Roos N (eds.): Edible Insects of Sustainable Food Systems. Cham,

Switzerland: Springer Publ., 2018:35-54.

Jugli S, Chakravorty J, Meyer-Rochow VB. Tangsa and Wancho of North-East India use animals not only as food and medicine but

also as additional cultural attributes. Foods. 2020;9(4):528.

Gidey Y, Mekonen T, Yemane G. Ethnozoological study of traditional medicinal animals used by the people of Kafta-Humera District,

Northern Ethiopia. Int J Med Sci. 2011;3(10):316-320.

Dereje W, Meseret C. Ethnozoological study of traditional medicinal animals used by the Kore People in Amaro Woreda, Southern

Ethiopia. Int J Mol Evol Biodivers. 2014;4(2):1-8.

Fasil AK, Sileshi AM, Melkamu AD. Ethnozoological study of traditional medicinal appreciation of animals and their products

among the indigenous people of Metema Woreda, North-Western Ethiopia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2018;14:37.

Li S, Han Q, Qiao C, Song J, Cheng CL, Xu H. Chemical markers for the quality control of herbal medicines: An overview. Chin Med.


Robinson MM, Zhang X. The World Medicines Situation, Traditional Medicines: Global Situation Issues and Challenges. Geneva: World

Health Organization, 2011.

World Health Organization (WHO). Traditional Medicine Strategy 2002–2005. 1st ed. Geneva: WHO, 2002.

Mulugeta K, Gemechu L. Wild edible plant bio-diversity and utilization system in Nech Sar National Park, Ethiopia. Int J Bioresour

Stress Manag. 2016;7(4):885-896.

Tsegazeabe H. Traditional zootherapeutic studies in Degu’a Tembien, Northern Ethiopia. Curr Res J Biol Sci. 2012;4(5):563-569.

Friedman J, Yaniv Z, Dafni A, Palevitch D. A preliminary classification of the healing potential of medicinal plants, based on a

rational analysis of an ethnopharmacological field survey among Bedouins in the Negev desert. Israel J Ethnopharmacol.


Bennett BC, Prance GT. Introduced plants in the indigenous pharmacopoeia of northern South America. Econ Bot. 2000;54:90-102.

Motbaynor MM, Tadesse NS, Gashaw AM, Hailu AA. Documentation of traditional knowledge associated with medicinal animals in

West Gojjam Zone of Amhara Region, Ethiopia. Res Square. 2020. DOI: 10.21203/ Accessed August 26, 2020.

Meyer-Rochow VB. Therapeutic arthropods and other, largely terrestrial, folk-medicinally important invertebrates: A comparative

survey and review. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2017;13:9.

Dawit A. Traditional medicine in Ethiopia. The attempt being made to promote it for effective and better utilization. SINET:

Ethiop J Sci. 1986;9:61-69.

Young SM, Benyshek DC. Review: In search of human placentophagy:A cross-cultural survey of human placenta consumption, disposal practices, and cultural beliefs. Ecol Food Nutr. 2010;49(6):467-484.

Onuaguluchi G, Ghasi S. The pharmacological basis for the use of dried sheep placenta in traditional obstetric practice in Nigeria. J

Ethnopharmacol. 1996;54:27-36.

Ngokwey N. Home remedies and doctors remedies in Feira (Brazil). Social Sci Med. 1995;40(8):1141-1153.

Alves RRN, Rosa IL. From cnidarians to mammals: The use of animals as remedies in fishing communities in NE Brazil. J Ethnopharmacol. 2006;107:259-276.

Alves RRN, Alves HN. The faunal drugstore: Animal-based remedies used in traditional medicines in Latin America. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2011;7(9):1-43.

Costa-Neto EM, Motta PC. Animal species traded as ethnomedical resources in the Federal District, Central West region of Brazil.

Open Complement Med J. 2010;2:24-30.

Van Vliet N, Mertz O, Heinimann A, et al Trends, drivers and impacts of changes in swidden cultivation in tropical forestagriculture

frontiers: A global assessment. Glob Environ Chang. 2012;22(2):418-429.

Getnet C, Zemede A, Ensermu K. Ethnobotanical study of medicinal plants in the environs of Tara-Gedam and Amba remnant forests

of Libo Kemkem District, Northwest Ethiopia. J Ethnobiol Ethnomed. 2015;11(4):1-38.




How to Cite

Kebebew, M., Mohamed, E., & Rochow, V. M. (2021). Knowledge and Use of Traditional Medicinal Animals in the Arba Minch Zuriya District, Gamo Zone, Southern Ethiopia. European Journal of Therapeutics, 27(2), 158–167.



Original Articles