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Privatise Zoological Garden; NAZAP Tells Imo Government




The newly inaugurated executive of the Nigerian Association of Zoological Gardens and Wildlife Parks (NAZAP) has urged the Imo State government to privatise its zoo.

NAZAP, the body responsible for ensuring standards and best practices in the areas of wildlife protection, management, and conservation in Nigeria, made the call while reacting to a report of some animals starving to death in the zoo.

Speaking in a chat, the Secretary of the association, Dr. Kabir Ali, said that lack of funds is always the cause of starvation of animals in government-owned zoos, adding that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country also contributed to worsening the situation.

Further, he added that as a regulatory body of all zoos and wildlife parks in Nigeria, NAZAP made a donation of cows and money for the upkeep of the animals as an intervention as had earlier been done at other zoos such as Obafemi Awolowo University and Kaduna zoos with the animals now doing fine.

While urging the Imo State government to privatise the zoo, Dr. Ali added that NAZAP is ready to join forces with them in finding and identifying suitable investors that can turn the fortunes of the zoo around in a very short time.

Decrying the tradition of media houses using photos sourced online to depict a situation, Dr. Ali stated that the photos used to report the situation in the Imo Zoo were not from the zoo.

“While we are aware of the disheartening situation of Imo Zoo, we state that the photos being circulated are not that of the zoo.

“NAZAP has consistently intervened by sending palliative to the zoo authorities while making frantic efforts to engage the Imo State government over this rather sad matter. Just recently, a formal letter was sent to the government seeking for urgent solutions.

“In time past, a similar crisis arose in OAU Zoo and the association intervened to ensure that a successful result was achieved to the extent that the said zoo is now to be privatised.

“A similar crisis also erupted in Kaduna Zoo and again NAZAP was instrumental in restoring normalcy.

“To this end, we make a clarion call to the Imo State government to privatise the zoo with NAZAP standing ready to facilitate such an exercise.

“NAZAP’s position and advice is that no zoo is worth having where the exhibits are going to be deprived of needed welfare.  It has now become crucial for all state-owned zoos to consider privatisation.”

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