Operatives of the Lagos State Task Force on Monday relocated a lion which was found at a private home in Victoria Island to a zoo in Omu Resorts, Lekki. The video of a 2-year old lion in a private residence on Muri Okunola street, Victoria Island, Lagos had gone viral on social media prompting the state government to step in.
The Chairman of the Task Force, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, disclosed that the exercise was carried out in conjunction with officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and medical personnel from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan.
Egbeyemi said that Dr. Ogunmo Bamidele, who led the medical team from the University of Ibadan, had to tranquilise the lion three times before they were able to evacuate it to the zoo. He said that the move by the Agency is sequel to a petition from residents who complained of the presence of a lion in their neighbourhood.
He further buttressed that investigations by the Agency revealed that the lion was brought in from Cameroun two years ago by an Indian man, to his private residence in Victoria Island to Lekki.
“Immediately I got the petition, I deployed my officers to the house at No. 229, Muri-Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, where they kept a close watch for more than 72 hours before the lion was finally removed today,” Egbeyemi said.
The chairman assured residents that the owner of the lion will face the full wrath of the law, warning residents to desist from harbouring wild animals that may endanger the lives of others.
“In as much as we appreciate residents around Victoria Island for their quick action, we urge every member of the public to be observant in their immediate environment and report any strange or unusual activity to appropriate government authority for prompt action”, he stated.
The Director, Veterinary Services, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Macaulay Rasheed, also advised members of the public to stop rearing wild animals in private homes in order to avoid unnecessary attack and contagious animal diseases.