Pros­e­cute Idanre ele­phant killer, NCF tells Ak­eredolu

The Punch - - NEWS - Mau­reen Ihua-maduenyi

tHE Nige­rian Con­ser­va­tion Foun­da­tion has asked the Gover­nor of Ondo State, Ro­timi Ak­eredolu, to pros­e­cute an in­di­gene who re­cently killed an ele­phant in idanre.

An uniden­ti­fied man had last week killed an ele­phant at Janiyi camp in idanre, Ondo State, spark­ing mixed re­ac­tions from Nige­ri­ans on the so­cial me­dia.

The NCF said the gover­nor’s ac­tion against the killer would serve as a de­ter­rent to oth­ers as ele­phants were glob­ally en­dan­gered.

The Act­ing Di­rec­tor Gen­eral of the NCF, Joseph Onoja, stated this on tues­day, when he led a three-man del­e­ga­tion on a cour­tesy visit to the Punch Place, the cor­po­rate head­quar­ters of Punch Nige­ria Lim­ited, Mag­boro, Ogun State.

Ac­cord­ing to Onoja, the NFC man­ages the Omo Shasha Wood­land, where the ele­phant was killed.

He said, “The NFC plays a vi­tal role in the coun­try’s en­vi­ron­ment na­ture preser­va­tion. We man­age the Omo-shasha Wood­land which is the last for­est com­plex in the South-west where we still have the for­est ele­phant.

“it was in the cor­ner of this for­est that an ele­phant was killed, we have been in touch with the gover­nor try­ing to get him to take ac­tion be­cause the in­ci­dent has the po­ten­tial of em­bar­rass­ing his gov­ern­ment.

“We knew there were ele­phants there but we didn’t want to blow it up so that poach­ers will not go in there and hunt the ele­phants. So, we were re­ally dis­heart­ened, it is a crim­i­nal of­fence. We have a law, which is the En­dan­gered Species Act and ele­phants are un­der Sched­ule 1, peo­ple are not sup­posed to trade in it. Nige­ria is a sig­na­tory to bio­di­ver­sity, we are not sup­posed to kill en­dan­gered species and ele­phants are known glob­ally as en­dan­gered species.”

Onoja said un­der the En­dan­gered Species Act, who­ever killed an ele­phant could be pe­nalised.

“When you kill an ele­phant, you ex­tract its tusks which are clas­si­fied un­der glob­ally banned and il­le­gally traded prod­ucts. The per­son can be charged with killing an en­dan­gered species and trad­ing in an il­le­gal prod­uct,” he said.

the DG also called for more ac­tion in the preser­va­tion of vul­tures, adding that the bird’s pop­u­la­tion had de­clined in the last six years.

“Vul­ture moved from the least con­cerned to crit­i­cally en­dan­gered species and the next step will be ex­tinc­tion. They play very vi­tal roles, if they are not there to clean car­casses off the en­vi­ron­ment, the dogs and rats will take them into the hu­man pop­u­la­tion where they spread an­thrax, tu­ber­cu­lo­sis and cholera among other dis­eases that can af­fect the hu­man pop­u­la­tion,” he added.

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