Stanley Uzoaru, Owerri
Nigerian Association of Zoological Gardens and Wildlife Parks has urged the federal government and other donor agencies as well as philanthropists to extend palliative to Zoos in the country to enable them cater for the vulnerable animals.
National President of the union, Francis Abioye who made the appeal in a chat with our correspondent in Owerri yesterday has also raised the alarm over possible collapse of Ecotourosm industries in Nigeria as a result of the effect of the lockdown.
He disclosed that the conservation industry is fast collapsing due to the effect of coronavirus induced lockdown.
Abioye said “we need the urgent intervantion of Federal Government in this industry because it is fast collapsing.
“We need to feed the animals on a daily basis and we no longer generate income due to the lockdown and if nothing is done urgently, the animals in the National Zoos and Wildlife Parks will begin to die”, Abioye said.
He, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government and the National Committee on COVID-19 response team to emulate other countries in the world who have given palliative for the upkeep of Zoos and Wildlife Park.
He added that most of the developed countries have been able to give paliatives to their Zoos and Wildlife Park and the Government of England released £100m to all Zoos in England just last week.
He said “during this lockdown, other industries can afford to shutdown without incurring further rugular expenses, but in the case of the Zoos, daily maintenance of the animals is innevitable”, he said.
“Every country of the world are respected by the way they take care of animals.
“As government is planning palliative for human beings, they should also plans for the animals because the laws says if we cannot feed the animals in captivity, they should be released and allowed to carter for themselves”, We can not afford to let lions and other endangered species loose out of the Zoos to look for food by themselves. Abioye said.