The Acting General Manager of the Jos Wildlife park, Mrs Salome Bidda, has called on the Plateau Government to put up a perimeter security fence around the park to prevent invaders from excavating its natural potential.
Bidda made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Jos.
”The park is too open and has attracted various illegal activities such as felling of trees and soil excavation.
”Over 300 structures have been erected illegally on the wildlife park land due to the porousness of the place.
”Half of the land of the wildlife park has been converted into farm land,” she said.
Bidda said that the park management has held series of meetings with community leaders on the need to sensitise their wards on preserving the park.
”The meeting has yet to yield results. There is urgent need for the park to be fenced.
”If we are able to fence the place and restock the animals, we would be able to explore our goldmine” she said.
Bidda told NAN that the dearth of manpower was also a challenge as most of their staff have retired, resigned or died.
According to her, the park is also faced with the challenge of feeding its animals too.
“The animal exchange programme has helped the park to restock animals. But currently, that is also hendered due to the outbreak of the COVID-19.
“We visited Sumu Game Reserve in Yankari in Bauchi.
“We have already arranged for an exchange, we would be given a pair of giraffes , two zebras and two female baby antelopes and we would give them one male baby antelope,” she said.
She said:”as soon as the COVID-19 restrictions are eased, the animals would be picked up.
The GM lamented that tourism businesses have greatly been affected globally and Plateau isn’t excluded, especially in the wildlife sector,.
“In the past , during festive periods like the Easter celebration, the park usually experiences a beehive of activities.
`However, the outbreak of the pandemic has greatly affected revenue generation”, she said.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza (NAN)
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