The Plateau Government has approved N2 billion for the rehabilitation and expansion of Jos Wildlife Park in 2014, an official said in an interview recently. The General Manager of Plateau State Tourism Corporation, Mr John Doy, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos that the money would be used to restock the park with exotic animals in the year 2014.
He said that the park, established 41 years ago, had suffered neglect which led to the decay of some of the infrastructure. Doy said that the government decided to focus on the park as a means of providing more jobs, boost hospitality and tourism.
He said the effort would enable Plateau to really merit its acronym of “Home of Peace and Tourism”. The “Plateau Government is interested in going into partnership with the Namibian Government to restock the park with new species of animals. The animals that we have in the park now are aging; age is catching up with them and some are even going into extinction. In some cases, we just have one of the sexes, either male or female, they are lonely, and loneliness brings in some level of depression,” he said.
Doy, however, said that things would change in the park from January 2014, as new activities would commence in preparation for the arrival of the new species of animals to be introduced.
The manager said that the rehabilitation and expansion work would include fencing of the 20km park against encroachment and protection of the ecosystem. “Our principal aim is conservation; we want to make efforts to preserve animals, such as giraffes, rhinos and buffaloes, which are on the verge of extinction. This is to give our children the benefit of seeing what they can no longer see in the wild and to also help researchers in their works. We need people to appreciate government’s efforts, tourism is a cost effective project with long term benefits but requires patience,” he said.
He also said that the corporation had also achieved some success through in-house breeding.
(Story from PM NEWS)
Crocodile at the Jos Wildlife Park (Photo from www.vencarta.com)
Ostriches at the Jos Wildlife Park (Photo from www.vencarta.com)
This article was written by Folarin Kolawole
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