Officials of the Lagos State Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit have tranquillized and removed a lion found at a private house in the Victoria Island area of the state.
The lion was removed around 1.30pm on Monday.
The Chairman of the task force team, SP Yinka Egbeyemi, who confirmed the development to our correspondent, said the Indian owner had yet to be found.
“Instead, what he did was to send three Nigerians, who claimed to be his workers. But we are working with them to know where we can find him. Our primary concern now is to remove the lion from the house, which we have done,” he stated.
Egbeyemi, in a statement later issued by the agency, explained that the operation to remove the carnivore was carried out in conjunction with officials of the state Ministry of Agriculture and medical personnel from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ibadan.
He added that the leader of the medical team from the University of Ibadan, Dr Ogunmo Bamidele, tranquillized the lion three times before its evacuation.
The task force boss added that the lion was taken to a zoo in the Omu Resorts, Lekki.
He confirmed that the government responded to a petition from residents, while investigation revealed that the lion was brought in from Cameroon by the Indian two years ago.
“Immediately I got the petition, I deployed my officers in 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 (Monday),” Egbeyemi added.
The chairman assured residents that the owner of the lion would face the full wrath of the law, warning residents to desist from harbouring wild animals that could endanger the lives of others.
“Inasmuch as we appreciate residents of Victoria Island for their quick action, we urge every member of the public to be observant in their immediate environment and report any strange or unusual activity to appropriate government agencies for prompt action,” he added.
The Director, Veterinary Services, Lagos State Ministry of Agriculture, Dr Macaulay Rasheed, advised members of the public to stop rearing wild animals in private homes to avoid unnecessary attacks and contagious diseases transmitted by animals.