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My name is Ayodeji Asiru-Balogun. I am a wildlife biologist with a passion for animals and ecotourism, and I am as well experienced in handling wild animals (in the wild and in captivity).
Sometimes ago, I got some captured manatees from artisan fishermen, and got the Lagos State to get permission from the National Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research (NIOMR) to keep them in holding pens there before release into the lagoon if need be.
I had thought it was a wonderful opportunity for the Lagos State Govt to establish a marine aquarium (which would have served as a captive breeding program for West African Manatees in Nigeria).
To cut the story, NCF (Nigeria Conservation Foundation ) came in insisting the animals be released instantly (8weeks later) simply because they had expected anything that had to do with conservation just had to go through them!
Now, NCF was the first organization to be contacted by people that heard about the capture of the animals; they sent a team there which recorded the animals (I saw the recording), and stated that they were SEALS!!!! They went on to leave the animals there (in a canoe half-filled with water!!), and did nothing else about it!!!!
I heard four days later about the animals and the fact that NCF had been there, so I stupidly assumed that the NCF had taken custody… I got there, only to be shown the aforementioned video on a cam. When I got to the Ogudu site, it was another story entirely!!!
Reason for this missive?? Don’t expect the NCF to do anything about conservation if it won’t cost the government and Chevron billions of dollars! If anything is going to be done about conservation and ecotourism in this country, the onus lies on you and I who still have the interest of the wild at heart!
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This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
Founder of Naijatreks, Nigerian-born Folarin Kolawole is a geologist, travel writer and researcher. When not at work, he travels the length and breadth of Nigeria, exploring, taking photos and writing about her numerous hidden tourist potentials. 'Naijatreks' is a product name registered under the Ntreks brand, which is also duly registered by Nigeria's Federal Corporate Affairs Commission. The contents on this blog are re-usable. However, it must be ensured that it is linked back to this blog, and correctly attributed to Naijatreks or the author. Please do not edit, rewrite or commercialize the original works on this blog without direct and written permission from the Founder (Folarin Kolawole). For inquiries and advert placement on the blog, kindly contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.