Tortoise of the forest, the Home’s hinge-back tortoise, Kinixys homeana, has considerable range over the continuous Guinea-Congo rainforest region. Its long agile legs, large eyes and secretive habits are adaptations to a forest habitat. The pronounced vertical drop at the end distinguishes the carapace of the Home’s hinge-back tortoise. The shape of the carapace also cleverly channels rainwater towards its head for drinking. This animal, called Ìjàpá in Yoruba, is the hero of many Yoruba folktales, loved and hated for its cunning ways and wisdom. They use their sense of smell, as they make straight darting jabs with their head to locate food that suites their omnivorous diet. Common foods eaten are fruit, grass, plants, slugs, millipedes, and snails.
Numbers have declined drastically in recent years due primarily to habitat loss, hunting, and export for the pet trade. Nigerian populations appear to be particularly threatened, as they inhabit fragmented forest patches in the southern part of the country.