Indigenous Knowledge of Water Turtle (Pelusios Castaneus) Sold In Edo State, Nigeria (Published)
This study was carried out to have an overview of the indigenous knowledge of water turtle sold in Edo state, using twelve major markets (Uselu, New Benin, Uwa, Oba, Yanga, Osa, Oka, Oregbeni, Oliha, Uwelu, Ogida, and New markets) in Benin City the state capital as the sampling centre. Useful investigations were initiated through oral interview and focus group discussions with certain determinative parameters in mind. These include among others, handling – holding methods, feeding stuff, slaughtering methods, and years of turtle trade, price indices and socio-cultural indices. There were three methods by which turtle were slaughtered of which putting in boiling/boiled water was the simplest and fastest. The price indices showed that turtles were sold for as low as N500 ($2.00) and as high as N4000 – N 5000 ($13.3 – $17.00) based on their size. Results showed that turtle sales started more than 30 years ago in the City, the socio-cultural indices revealed that turtle was used mostly for spiritual purposes, while the meat was a delicacy among people that eat this meat. With adequate management regime in place, the possibility of successfully domesticating them in this environment is high as any food consumed by man were popular feedstuffs used in feeding turtle during their holding period; in addition to different fruits like pawpaw, banana, mango and pineapple commonly available being used. The study has thus shown that socio culturally the people of the state have nothing against water turtle consumption, making it an animal protein source to be expected for the citizenry under domestication to make it readily available. The pricing of turtle could also become standardized if there is a steady supply from culture as this will in turn reduce the pressures currently placed on wild species.
Keywords: Meat, Nigeria, Pelusios Castaneus, Standardized Price, Water Turtle