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Animals have always been part of Yoruba history for several centuries.  There are some individuals whose means of livelihood were from hunting in times past. Animals hunted for are: lion, tiger, leopard, tiger, elephant, buffalo, gazelles, various types of snakes and other dangerous animals.  Hunting was either done in group or solely, hunting could go for days, even, weeks. Hunters in this category were known for their power, bravery, strength to withstand adversity in the wild; more important, superior knowledge of animals.

Basically, the purpose of hunting is threefold: first, to source for meat; second, to get materials from these animals (ohun-elo) for local medicines, third, to make money from the game hunted. In fact, ancient hunters engaged in huntings principally, to source for meat and to use animal parts to make local medicines. The commercial reason for hunting is of recent development, because people back then used to say “ise ni mu ni pa eran apata; ka pa eran, ka je ni iyi Ode” which means (to kill and to sell game is nothing, but poverty; however, the joy of hunting is to kill, and to eat the animal to your satisfaction). Hunting in times past was a family job, trade or tradition; children born into hunters’ families must learn how to hunt, use gun and other hunting materials.

The secondary hunters- these hunters use hunting as past-time (avocation) or an alternate to their regular jobs, this type of hunting is common even today. People hunt in group (age-group) or may hunt individually. They do not need elaborate hunting paraphernalia like the big time-hunters; neither do they need so much training before hunting.

English Name Yoruba Name
Cock (Hen) Akuko
Cobra Oka
Ox , Bull Malu
Spit-Snake Oworu
Snake Sebe
Dog Aja
Hedgehog Oya
A scaly animal/Pangolin Akika
Crocodile Ooni
Alligator Ahonrihon

Vulture Igun, Gunnugun, Gurugu, Akala
Wood-Carrier Arugisegi
Hawks Awodi, Asa
Palm Bird Ologiri
A species of Bird Olofere
Peacock Okin
Squirrel Okere
Rabbit Ehoro
Bird that lives on crickets Okinrin
A large Rat Okete
Wild Goat Edu
A species of Deer Ekulu
Shark Ekura
Rat/Mouse Eku/Ekute
Earthworm Ekolo
Sing Bird Eye-Orin
Partridge Aparo
Horse Esin
Donkey Ketekete
Camel Rakunmi
Ass Ibakasie
Bat Adan
A species of Bat Ode
Pelican Eye-Ofu
A species of Carnivorous animal Ofafa
A type of fish Ojan
Water-bird Osin
Mackerel Owere
Dove Adaba
Viper Paramole
Sea-Gulls Peju-peju
Yellow-haired Monkey Somidoloti/Oloyo
Sea-Bird Yanja-yanja
Mosquito Efon/Yanmu-yanmu
Tortoise Yanrinbo
Raven Eye-Iwo
Snail Igbin/Aginniso

Stay Ako-Agbonrin, Igala
Steer Egbooro-Ako Malu
Trout Eja
Wether, Castrated animal Ogufe
Buffalo Efon/Ede
Monkey Obo
Ape Edun
Lizard Alamu/Alangba,
Lobster Alakasa
Boa Ere
Boar Elede-Igbo, Esi
Gorilla, Baboon Inaki, Inoki, Iro
Chimpanzee Osa, Elegbede
Phython Ojola
Electric Fish Ojigi
Scorpion Ojogan/Akeekee
Toad Konko
Antelope Egbin
Tick/Flee Eegbon
Hippopotamus Erinmi
Rhinoceros Eranko bi Imado.
Reynard (Fox) Kolokolo
Hyena/Wolf Ikoko
Giraffe Agbanrere
Cow Abo-Malu
Crab Akan
Wild Pigeon Oriri
Porcupine Oore, Eere, Ojigbon
A kind of Green Wild Pigeon Orofo,
Black-Ants Tanpepe
A variety of bird Tangala
Centipede Tanisanko
Millipede Okun
Frog Opolo
Chick Oromo-Adie
Nocturnal Animal Ajao
Hound Aja-Ode
Elephant Erin/Ajanaku
Sheep Aguntan
Ram Agbo
Woodcock Agbe
A species of Woodcock Aluko
White-feathered Bird Lekeleke
Chamelon Oga, Alagemo
Crane-Bird Ako
Parrot Odidere
Ostrich Ogongo
White-Ant Ikan, Ikamudu
Tortoise Ijapa
Tiger Ekun
Lion Kiniun
Large bird of Goose family Ehuru
Nightingale Eye -Olorin didun
Pigeon Eyele
Pig/Swine Elede
Eagle Eye-Idi
Guinea Fowl Awo
Guinea Pig Emo-Ile
Jelly-Fish Eja-Odo
A brown feathered Bird Elulu
Spider Alantakun
Butterfly
Bee Oyin
Cockroach Ayan
Cricket Ire
Crabs Akan
Housefly Esinsin/Esin
Gnats Kokoro-Ojuoti
Wall-Gecko Omonle

Mouse Eliri

Colt Young Horse Agodongbo

A type of fish Ojan
A kite-like fish with poison Ajibete
A large she Goat Ake
Woodpecker Akoko
A bird with Red Peak Apon


A species of Horse Ira
Insect Ipin
Red-Ant Abonilejopon
Civet-cat Eta
Zebra Ketekete-Abila
Owl Owiwi
Lice Ina-Ori
Bed-bug Idun
Leopard Amotekun
Hind Abo-Agbonrin
Cat Ologinni
Turkey Tolotolo
Sparrow Eye-Alapandede
Kine Abo-Malu
Stallion Ako-Esin
Gadfly Iru, Esinsin- N la
Duck Pepeye
Black-Ant. Aladi
Jackal Akata/Ajako

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