Lagos Takes Lion from Indian Owner to Omu Resorts
By Dipo Olowookere
The Lagos State government has taken the lion found at the private residence of its Indian owner around Victoria Island to a zoo in Omu Resorts, Lekki.
Over the weekend, pictures of the wild animal caged in the premises of its owner believed to be an Indian national litered the internet, with many commentators calling for the immediate prosecution of the owner.
On Monday, the state government said officials of the Lagos State Task Force were at the area alongside some medical personnel to evacuate the lion from the residence to the zoo so as to safeguard lives and properties of residents of the metropolis.
According to Chairman of the agency, CSP Olayinka Egbeyemi, 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 led by Dr Ogunmo Bamidele.
Mr Egbeyemi said the doctor had to shoot the lion three times with sedatives before the lion was finally tranquilised and evacuated from the premises to the zoo, where it would be and be taken care of.
He confirmed that the agency responded to a petition from residents while investigations revealed that the lion was brought in from Cameroun by an Indian two years. However, he did not disclose identity of the owner
“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,” Mr Egbeyemi said.
He assured residents that the owner of the lion would face the full wrath of the law, warning residents to abstain from harbouring wild animals that 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 at private homes in order to avoid unnecessary attack and contagious animal diseases.