Document Type : Original Article
Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, University of Lagos, Lagos, Nigeria
Wildlife is a major asset and they are very important in ecological balance. Mammals were hunted due to demands for their meats and other parts of the animal. This study was aimed at assessing the prevalence of infection in selected mammals as well as knowledge of hunters and sellers about conservation and zoonotic issues. One hundred mammals were examined, Pangolin, Phataginus tricuspis (Pholidonta: Manis), hedgehog, Atelerix albiventris (Insectivora: Erinaceidae) and Porcupine, Atherurus africanus (Gray, 1842); the overall prevalence is 14% with 15.7% in Epe market and 10% in Odoona market, Ibadan. Hedgehog had the highest prevalence at the markets, 54.5%, and 40% respectively followed by Pangolin, (36.4% and 14.3%)’ the least was observed in Porcupine (3.2%) in Epe market only. Single infection was observed in all mammals except in Pangolin and hedgehog where co-infection was observed. Helminthes recovered were Strongyloides sp, Metadavainae sp, Capillaria sp, and Hymenolepis sp. Infectivity was related to seasonal variation which shows no significant relationship; however, more males were infected in wet and dry but no female was infected during the dry season. Assessment of the knowledge of hunters showed that they are predominantly male with little or no knowledge about conservation law. Gun was the most effective method of killing which was used to kill animals indiscriminately because it was believed that game animals keep increasing in the forests hunted. Women are predominately marketers of these game animals; they had little knowledge about zoonotic diseases (3.3%), only a few (36.7%) use deworming drugs, and 22.2% every 3 months. Conservation and health education needs to be intensified for hunters and bushmeat handlers to prevent the re-emerge of some zoonotic infections.