THE Nigerian Association of Zoological Gardens and Wildlife Parks (NAZAP) has urged the Federal and State Governments to intervene and prevent total collapse of the ecotourism industry in Nigeria due to COVID-19.
NAZAP National President, Mr Francis Abioye, made the appeal in Owerri on Wednesday while speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Abioye said the conservation industry had almost collapsed due to COVID-19 lockdown.
“We need urgent intervention of the federal and state governments in the industry because it is fast collapsing.
“We need to feed the animals on a daily basis and we no longer generate income due to the lockdown and if nothing is done urgently, the animals in the national zoos and wildlife parks will begin to die,” he said.
Abioye appealed to the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 to emulate other countries by providing palliatives for the upkeep of zoos and wildlife parks across the country.
He said that most advanced countries provided palliatives to their zoos and wildlife parks to prevent them from collapsing.
“For example the British Government released 100 million pounds to all zoos in England last week.
“During the lockdown, other industries can afford to shut down without incurring further regular expenses, but in the case of the zoos, daily maintenance of the animals is inevitable.
“As government is planning palliatives for human beings, it should also plan for the animals because the laws says if we cannot feed the animals in captivity, they should be released and allowed to cater for themselves.
“We cannot afford to let lions and other endangered species loose, out of the zoo, to look for food by themselves,” Abioye said.
– July 01, 2020 @ 14:45 GMT