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