Lion attack claims zookeeper’s life at Nigerian University

Late OAU Zookeeper Olabode OLAWUYI

In a tragic incident at the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) in Nigeria, Olabode Olawuyi, a zookeeper with nearly a decade of experience, was fatally attacked by a lion he had cared for since its birth. The university reported that Olawuyi was feeding the lions when the male lion turned aggressive, resulting in severe injuries that proved fatal.

Despite the efforts of his colleagues, they were unable to rescue Olawuyi in time, prompting the decision to euthanize the lion responsible for the attack.

The OAU, a federal government-owned university in Osun state, confirmed that Olawuyi, a veterinary technologist, had been responsible for the care of the lions since their birth about nine years ago.

The university community has been deeply affected by the incident, with graphic images circulating on social media, and the news has led to a collective sense of mourning.

The university administration swiftly responded by dispatching a team to console the family of the deceased.

Expressing his sorrow, Prof Adebayo Simeon Bamire, the vice-chancellor of OAU, announced a comprehensive investigation into the incident to determine both its immediate and underlying causes.

Meanwhile, Abbas Akinremi, the leader of the university’s students’ union, shared insights into the incident, attributing it to «human error».

According to Akinremi, the zookeeper had unintentionally forgotten to lock the door after completing the feeding routine.

Despite the unfortunate circumstances, Akinremi paid tribute to Olawuyi as a “good and humble man” who had consistently provided excellent care to the animals at the zoo.

As the university community grapples with this tragedy, the investigation aims to shed light on the factors contributing to the incident and prevent future occurrences.

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