agency rescues lion cub from Abuja traffickers | The Guardian Nigeria News
The National Environmental Standards and Regulation Enforcement Agency (NESREA) has rescued a baby lion from wildlife traffickers in Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.
Acting on a tip, a combined team from the agency and the National Park Service intervened, rescued the cub and arrested the suspects as they tried to sell the animal for 6 million naira.
Chief Executive Prof Aliyu Jauro who was represented by Environmental Quality Control Manager Mr Ayuba Jacob said the rescue operation was carried out because the animal is listed as a endangered species in existing wildlife laws, including international conventions. .
“Lions, like other endangered species, are prohibited from illegal possession and free sale both locally and internationally under different conventions and regulations.
Nigeria is a signatory to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). We have the National Environmental (Protection of Endangered Species in International Trade) Regulation 2011 and the Endangered Species (Control of International Trade and Traffic) (Amendment) Act, 2016.”
Jacob added, “This is a criminal offence, such acts dishonor Nigeria in the international community if not reduced. We always carry out awareness-raising exercises on current environmental issues, and enlighten hunters on endangered species.
He therefore warned citizens to refrain from committing environmental crimes because the agency would continue its war against the perpetrators, saying: “People should know that there are animals and plants that are conserved so that they don’t disappear.”
The director said the investigation is still ongoing and the suspects will be brought to justice appropriately while the animal has been transferred to the appropriate care center pending further action as required by applicable laws.