West African Lion at the Gamji Park zoo escapes, returns

Fun seekers who always throng the popular Gamji Amusement Park for a swell weekend, had a big scare, when a lion from the mini zoo inside the park went berserk, trying to escape.

Sources at the Gamji Park informed Abuja Chronicle, that the only West African Lion at the zoo which is a critically endangered species that has less than 250 matured lions alive has been in a state of improper care with dilapidated enclosure, finally escaped during its feeding session by its guard.

It was reported that the guard suffered serious injuries during a scuffled with the lion.

The sighting of the lion created a serious pandemonium at the park, as people ran helter-skelter which resulted in many people sustained injuries in the process.

Eye-witnesses present at park added that later the lion went back to its enclosure without further attacking anybody.

On December 24, 2017, Abuja Chronicle  interview the protem chairman of Kaduna-based Animal Rights Group, Comrade Yusuf M. Yusuf, when he visited the zoo, where he expressed shock on the way and manner the animals are kept without proper vet and sanitary care

The group called the attention of the Kaduna state Governor, Malam Nasir el-Rufai over the deplorable conditions of the animals at the mini zoo at the popular Gamji Amusement Park, Kaduna.

In particular, the group was miffed and shocked over the absence of water in all of the different animal enclosures, a situation that put the species in  a dire strait at the mini zoo in Kaduna.

He posits that: “as I was walking through the gates I recall with nostalgia how the place looked like fifteen years ago. The zoo and the entire complex is overgrown with weeds and shrubs. The West African Lion at the zoo — a critically endangered species that has less than 250 matured lions alive — is in a state of improper care and its enclosure is not fit for it to survive.

“There are variety of different animals ranging from the African spotted Hyena, porcupine, tortoise, ostrich and many more.

“What is depressing which also captured my attention was the living conditions of these species. The entire complex is filthy and a dungeon for psychological torture of these animals, most especially the West African Lion.There is a minimum international standard of space for big cats in captivity,the lion is confined in very small enclose.

Comrade Yusuf, however, added that with proper care and rehabilitation the zoo can become a breeding center, while calling on the Kaduna state government and the private firm that took over the management of the park, to give proper attention, particularly to the African Lion by providing a bigger enclosure for its physical and psychological health.