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How lion attacked, killed top Nigerian varsity’s staff

A veterinarian in the Zoological Department of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria, Mr Olabode Olawuyi was attacked and killed by a lion on Monday. The wild cat attacked Olawuyi while he was busy feeding it, but all efforts by other members of the university community to rescue him were futile.

According to a statement by the university’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olarewaju, the nine-year-old lion was euthanised in its den immediately after the attack.

Olanrewaju added that the news of the incident threw the university community into mourning as the management ended its meeting abruptly on hearing of the sad incident.

The statement read, “Mr Olabode Olawuyi, a Veterinary Technologist, who has been in charge of the Zoological garden for over a decade, was attacked this afternoon, Monday, 19th February 2024, by a 9-year-old male lion when he was feeding them in their den at the Zoological garden of the University.

“The other members of staff who were at the scene of the incident did everything within their power to rescue their boss but the wild cat had already caused severe fatalities.

“On hearing the sad news, the management team, led by the Vice Chancellor, abruptly ended an ongoing meeting for an on-the-spot assessment.

“Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire, was informed, on arrival, by the Acting Director of the University Health and Medical Centre Dr. Tirimisiyu Olatunji, that all first aid and medical efforts to save the life of the victim proved abortive.

“Saddened by this tragic event, the aggressive lion has been euthanized.

“Mr Olawuyi has been taking care of the lions since they were born on campus about 9 years ago but, tragically, the male Lion killed the man who had been feeding them.

“The University management has sent a delegation to the widow and children of the deceased, imploring them to take solace in God who gives life and also has the power to take life.

“Meanwhile, the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire, has ordered a comprehensive investigation into the immediate and remote causes of the incident.”

Confirming the incident, the President of the student body known as the Student Union, Mr Abbas Akinremi, disclosed that the lion attack incident that led to the death of a zookeeper was due to human error.

He also allayed fear of panic on campus, saying students, both those living on campus and off campus, are safe from the attack.

Akinremi disclosed to Vanguard after the incident, saying the deceased forgot to lock the gate of the den after feeding the lion, leading to the attack.

“The incident was not due to any complacent management but to unfortunate human error on the part of the deceased. He forgot to lock the gate after feeding the lion.

“He was a good and humble man, who attended to us nicely whenever we went to the zoo. The incident is unfortunate, and we pray to God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.

“Meanwhile, the lion has been killed, and we are not under any apprehension as a result of the incident. The campus is calm, and we are all fine,” he said.

OAU is one of Nigeria’s top universities for its unrivaled academic excellence and contributing to the country’s innovations.

-Vanguard

 

 

 

 

 

 

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