Obasanjo names lion cub Aremu, donates N1m for adoption
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has adopted one of the three newborn lion cubs inside the new Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta Wildlife Park, christening the animal ‘Aremu’, his traditional name.
The OOPL Wildlife Park is a section of the presidential library, which houses over 140 indigenous and exotic animals. It was set up to encourage wildlife conservation, educate the general public, promote tourism and also support research.
In a release by his media aide, Kehinde Akinyemi, Obasanjo’s naming of the cub also attracted a one million naira donation for the animal’s upkeep, with a call on Nigerians to come to the aid of some animal species that face extinction in the nearest future.
The former president, who spoke through the Managing Director of OOPL Ventures, Vitalis Ortese, at the opening ceremony of the Wildlife Park and Animal ADOPTION (Animals Depend On People Too), said the name adoption of the animals in the park was aimed at recruiting individual and corporate partners who would support the park in providing the financial resources for the preservation and care of animals that are on the brink of extinction as a result of increased human activities.
The national president, National Association of Zoo And Parks (NAZAP), Dr. Morenikeji Olajumoke, urged the government to brace up to the challenges facing wildlife in the country, hinting that at present, some species face extinction in the country, “and, we must do something to it fast, because of their benefits to humanity too.
“Among the animals that are facing extinction is the Pangolin otherwise known as bush meat (eran ‘gbe). Already in China, we cannot find it anymore and they are shifting attention to Africa, particularly in Nigeria. And this is an animal that eliminates about 70 million pests in our forests annually. So, if we do not quickly address this, the pests will be available to destroy our forests too,” she said.