Lion domestication: Lagos residents urged to be vigilant

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The Iru-Victoria Island Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos state, has urged people of the area to police their environment to nip latent dangers in the bud.

Dr Samuel Akingbehin, Head of Department of Environmental Services in the council area, said this while reacting to the evacuation of a lion from a residential building on 229, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island.

He said the rearing wild animal in homes contravened the Wild Animal Laws of Nigeria, 1975.

The environmental officer said that people should be mindful of goings-on in their area, particularly those that could pose threat to their lives and promptly alert authorities to arrest such situations.

“People have to be involved in keeping the environment safe from seen and unforeseen environmental and health-related acts which can disturb their lives and the community.

“We were able to remove the lion from the private home of an Indian who was rearing it because of the alarm raised by the neighbours. Without such an environment policing attitude, the situation would have degenerated into a major crisis.

“It is everyone’s civic obligation to ensure that the environment is protected from hazards, to foster sustainability of life and human habitat,” he said.

According to him, rearing of wildlife in residential area is prohibited in the state, adding “such practice is not only alien to our culture, but can cause injury to both the owner and others, in the case of the animal straying”.

A lion, brought from Cameroon two years ago and domesticated by an Indian resident, had, on Monday, been evacuated to Omu Resorts, Bogijie Epe, Lagos, for safe keep.

Officials of the ministry of agriculture, in conjunction with the state environmental task force team, led by Dr Samuel Akingbehin of Iru-VI LCDA, had carried out the evacuation exercise.