Wild animals have provided complimentary protein for human populations across the world over the centuries. This study investigated on bioaccumulation of heavy metals in different organs of cane rat (Thryonomys swinderianus) and the health implications of its consumption. Four carcasses were collected from each of the four ecotomes (Mosinmi, Agbara, Omo forest reserve and Ibese) and concentrations of 7 heavy metals (Fe, Cu, Cd, Pb, Mn, Cr, Zn) were examined in four organs (skin, liver, lung and kidney) from each specimen used by Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer. Analysis of variance revealed no significant difference (P>0.05) in the concentration of metals in the animal except Fe and Cu, while significant variation exists when specimens were compared across different ecotomes. Total mean concentrations were Fe (400.512±60.0107), Cu (8.569±1.0396), Cd (0.06±0.040), Pb (0.3156±0.1175), Mn (9.4200±1.0383), Cr (1.3013±0.2739) and Zn (72.771±10.5672). Average mean concentration for all the metals in the study area was found to be higher than the recommended level which suggests that consumption of animals from this ecotomes are hazardous to human health and no single organ is completely safe for human consumption.
Key words: Bioaccumulation, Thryonomys swinderianus, cane rat, bush meat, heavy metals, wildlife consumption, animal toxicity.
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