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Nigeria: Lion kills zookeeper at university

February 20, 2024

The late zookeeper at the OAU had been taking care of the lion since its birth nine years ago. The university said it was trying to determine the cause of the accident.

Symbolbild Löwe - African lion roaring with open mouth
The deceased zookeeper had managed the university zoo for a decadeImage: Lubos Chlubny/Zoonar/picture alliance

A zookeeper at the Obafemi Awolowo University in southwestern Nigeria has died after being attacked by a male lion he had been looking after for nearly a decade.

Olabode Olawuyi was feeding the lion when the incident happened. Another staff member working at the zoo was also injured, local media reported.

What else do we know about the incident?

A university spokesperson was cited by the German dpa news agency as saying that Olawuyi's colleagues tried to save him, but he had already been badly injured.

"The aggressive lion was euthanized," the university said. It added that an investigation into the cause of the accident had been launched.

Unconfirmed reports from local media suggested Olawuyi had left the lion's cage open while attempting to feed it.

Olawuyi had managed the university zoo for a decade and had been taking care of the lion in question since its birth nine years ago.

Nigeria's Green Fingers Wildlife Conservation Initiative

rmt/nm (with dpa)