Experts Kick Against Wild Life Trafficking In Nigeria
Experts in Environmental and Wild Life Preservation across the world have kicked against wild life trafficking in the African continent especially in Nigeria.
The concern was part of the groups’ consensus at the 2016 World Pangolin Day which was held at the University of Ibadan’s Zoological Gardens on Saturday.
The programme, which was jointly put together by several stakeholders including IITA, University of Ibadan, the US and French embassies, NESREA and Local Hunters, sought to prevent further depletion and consequent extinction of the Pangolin in Nigeria, Africa and Asia where they are found.
The Pangolin, also known as ‘Akika’ in Yoruba, is a scaly animal with tremendous financial and medicinal potential which produces only one offspring per year.
The scales of a Pangolin have the most extraordinary features – they are extremely hard, calibrated serving as a cocoon of sort for the flesh, protecting it from preys and predators.
The hard exterior, however, has not been enough to protect Pangolin from poachers and hunters, who see it only as a special delicacy that must be hunted down.
The US government’s representative, Mr Nicholas Austin, said that there was need for constant and sustained dialogue, not only for Pangolin, but to discourage wild life trafficking in Nigeria.
The Head of IITA Forest Unit, Dr. Deni Brown, also opined that more serious efforts must be put into wild life conservation in Nigeria, as the country loses a lot of income to poachers and local hunters who only kill them for meat.
It is also worrisome to note that the Zoological Garden in the University of Ibadan, which hosted the event, does not have Pangolin to show participants at the event.
Recently, a container load of Pangolin scales and fresh elephant tusks which was loaded from Lagos and worth $1.3 million, was intercepted at Singapore.
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