The Conservator General, National Park Service, Alhaji Ibrahim Goni, says collaboration of all stakeholders is key to biodiversity conservation.
Goni spoke in Abuja on Sunday, October 27, 2019 against the backdrop of the recent case of a lion that the Kano State Government took to Karu in Nassarawa State for an agricultural show but bolted from its mobile crate and was wandering inside the zoo.
“The Kano State Government contacted us, and we immediately deployed our team of experts lead by a veterinary doctor of the Service, Conservator of Park (CP) Abdulrahaman Mohammed, to the state for professional intervention.
“The collaboration between our professionals and the management of the Kano State zoo paid off, and this led to the safe return of the lion to its cage in the zoo,” Goni stated.
He commended the team for a job well done because, according to him, transferring wildlife, especially carnivores and dangerous ones like lions, is a tricky task that requires meticulous planning.
“Lions present particular transportation challenges because of their size and the danger they pose to humans, so to handle them must be well planned, prepared and effectively executed.
“The more we understand about how these animals behave, the easier it would be for them to be handled without harm to the animals and/or to humans.”
The CG said that although conservation might look like a big problem that’s best left to the experts to solve, there are small changes that we all can make in our everyday lives to conserve the nation’s biodiversity.
“When we all work together to make these changes, they can make a big difference, and the Service’s doors are wide open for any collaboration that will make our nation better.
“The Service is all about conservation and preservation of our environment and we are prepared to work with stakeholders to have a well-protected and healthy biodiversity.
He said that it is not easy to re-think individual approaches to biodiversity conservation, but with a lot of collaboration, transparency and the conviction to stand by our principles, we have the tools needed to create better outcomes for all.
He commended the Kano Sate Zoo Management for doing the right thing by contacting the Service for professional help that averted possible calamity, unlike the whale that was washed ashore recently in Bayelsa State.
It will be recalled that, few months ago, a whale measuring about 30 feet was washed ashore at Ijaw Kiri community waterfront, Brass Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
Instead of calling on the appropriate authorities to handle it, some people in the community decided to subject the beached whale to an untidy fate.
Zoo managers, the CG adds, should also pay attention to the welfare, training of Zoo curators, use of appropriate materials in the zoos and timely feeding of animals, among others.
“We will continue to raise awareness through developing working relationships of mutual support with other organisations who share our goals.
“Biodiversity should be a top priority if we must achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which acknowledge the clear connection between environment and development by integrating sustainability in all 17 of the Global Goals.
“SDG 15 aims to ‘Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss’.”