House Probes Killing of Zookeeper by Lion in OAU

House Probes Killing of Zookeeper by Lion in OAU

The House of Representatives has mandated its Committees on Safety Standards and University Education to investigate the death of a veterinary technologist at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Olabode Olawuyi, who was fatally attacked by a lion in the school’s zoological garden.

The decision of the green chamber followed the adoption of a motion moved by a member, Abimbola Ajilesoro (PDP, Osun) during the plenary session on Wednesday.

A lion had on Monday, 12th February, 2024 attacked the Zookeeper during a feeding session at the zoological garden and mauled him to death.

Presenting the motion, Mr Ajilesoro said the tragedy could have been averted if the deceased had access to the necessary tools to de-escalate the situation, emphasising that the worker lacked tranquillisers to subdue the animal.

“This fatal incident could have been prevented if the zoo keeper had access to tranquillisers; he could have incapacitated the lion to save his life,” he stated.

The lawmaker expressed concerns about the rising number of animal attacks on veterinary technologists at various zoos across the country, with references to incidents at Agodi Garden in Ibadan, Oyo State, and Kaduna Gami Park in Kaduna State.

The lawmaker raised additional concerns about the lack of security and safety measures at some zoological sites nationwide.

He said, “concerned about the incessant wild animal attacks and mauling to death of zoo keepers and attendants in our zoological gardens and parks across the country, the killing of a zoo keeper by a lion at Agodi Garden in Ibadan, a zoo attendant was mauled to death by a lion at Kaduna Gami Park, and there was another incident at a zoological garden in Jos, where a lion pounced on the keeper and mauled him to death.”

He further lamented the inadequate hazard allowance for workers in these roles who put their lives at risk in service to their country.

Consequently, house charged its committees to investigate the incident and address the challenges facing the zoological department of the institution to prevent future occurrences.

The committees are to invite the Management of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) during the investigation.

The lawmakers also urged the National Orientation Agency (NOA) to conduct sensitisation and awareness campaigns on the importance for public or private entities, academic or commercial, keeping wild animals anywhere in the country to observe safety precautions and security measures.

The committees are to submit a report to the House in four weeks.

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