Recently, Nigeria has been faced with issues of wildlife conservation. Wildlife is being threatened with loss of habitat, poaching and hunting. Cases of deforestation, farming and road construction have further destroyed forests and dislodged some wild animals from their abode.
Just yesterday, there was a report that farmers in Samanaji community, Kebbi State trapped and killed a hippopotamus that has been destroying farmlands in the community.
Samanaji community is situated at the banks of the River Niger, so it is expected that the hippopotamus (which is a herbivore and inhabits both land and water bodies) will wreck havoc on farmlands in the community.
Well…to residents of the community, killing the animal was going to give them rest from the havoc it caused their farmlands. However, the question is: was killing this animal the right thing to do?
Killing the hippopotamus was totally wrong and this wouldn’t have been allowed in countries with stiff penalties for animal right violation. Without restrictions to limit the killing of endangered wildlife species, this would become a trend.
Few months back, some elephants strayed and intruded the state. Efforts were put in place and the elephants are still being quarantined and watched by local and state government authorities, which is quite commendable.
There is a need for conservation authorities in Nigeria to carryout a public enlightenment to discourage against the killing of endangered species.
Wildlife promotes tourism. Look at countries like Kenya and South Africa with tourism as a major contributor to its revenue. Nigeria too can make efforts to tow the same path.
Wildlife and conservation authorities should have toll free numbers to enable residents reach out to them in situations were there are wildlife invasion. These authorities should put measures in place to be able to tame these animals, quarantine and conserve them.
For Nigeria to boost tourism, unnecessary killing of wildlife should be discouraged, while conservation should be encouraged.