By: Ikechukwu Iweajunwa, Owerri
A Russian tourist Mr Michael Benbruce has blamed what he discribed as near death condition of the Lion in Imo state zoological gardens and wildlife parks on governmet’s negligence and poor feeding.
He said going by the poor welfare condition of the animals in the zoo, the Imo governmet has violated international laws protecting animals under captivity.
Benbruce disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent on Saturday, when he visited Imo state zoological gardens and wildlife park on Thursday.
He expressed displeasure over the poor state of animals in the zoo and the dilapidated facilities within the conservation area.
“I’m a Russian citizen and international tourist, I visited Imo zoo today to see to myself how the animals are fairing, but I must tell you that I’m totally disappointed.
“Imo governmet must take responsibility to the poor state of the animals kept in its care because what I see here is a near death condition of the Lion and other animals in the facility.
“Governmet must be aware that there are laws protecting zoo animals, but I can tell you that those laws have been violated here.”, he said
Benbruce said any governmet that fails to take care of animals kept in its custody cannot deliver good governance to the people.
He however advised the governmet to immediately begin rehabilitation program in the zoo to enable it rescue the Lion, which he discribed as the biggest assets in the facility.
Commissioner for Tourism Mr Uche Ohia told NAN in a brief reaction that governmet was aware of the situation in the zoo and said it would soon reposition the facility.
He said “yes we are aware of the development, lack of funds was the major challenge we are having, we want to diversify to enable us raise funds for the facility.
“Governmet is already fixing the major road leading to the zoo which caved in recently due to ecological problems”, he said