Operatives of the Lagos State Task Force yesterday relocated a lion that was found at a private home in Victoria Island to a zoo in Omu Resorts, Lekki.
The video of a two-year old lion in a private residence at No. 229, Muri Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, had gone viral on the media, prompting the state government to step in.
The task force Chairman, Chief Superintendent Olayinka Egbeyemi, disclosed that the exercise was carried out in conjunction with officials of the Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture and medical personnel from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan.
Egbeyemi said Dr Ogunmo Bamidele, who led the medical team from the University of Ibadan, had to tranquilise the lion thrice before they were able to evacuate it to the zoo.
He said that the move by the agency was sequel to a petition from residents who complained of the presence of a lion in their neighbourhood.
He said that the agency’s investigations revealed that the lion was brought in from Cameroun by an Indian two years ago.
“Immediately I got the petition, I deployed my officers to the house at No. 229, Muri-Okunola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos, where they kept a close watch for more than 72 hours before the lion was finally removed today (yesterday)”, Egbeyemi said.
The Chairman, who assured residents that the owner of the lion would face the full wrath of the law, warned residents to desist from harbouring wild animals that endanger the lives of others.
The Director, Veterinary Services, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Macaulay Rasheed, also advised members of the public to stop rearing wild animals at private homes in order to avoid unnecessary attack and contagious animal diseases.