FG, Commission multimillion naira zoo to advance zoology studies in FUL

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The Federal Government on Thursday commissioned a multi-million naira zoo and conservatory to advance the cause of research and studies of zoology at the Federal University Lokoja in Kogi State.

The projected was initiated and funded by the Federal University Lokoja.

Speaking at the inauguration of the project at the main campus of the university in Felele, Lokoja, the Conservator General , National Park Service Dr Ibrahim Musa Goni who , said the essence of keeping zoo and wildlife park was to avert the extinction of animals and disappearance of species.

Dwelling into the history of zoos in Africa , the Conservator General said in Africa, the first modern zoos were established by European colonists in the 19th century in South Africa and North Africa.

He added that in Nigeria, the first zoo was established in 1941 in Lagos by the colonial government as a small collection of local and exotic animals kept in basic enclosures for public viewing.

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According to him, over the years, the zoo expanded its collection and facilities, becoming a popular attraction for both locals and tourists, noting that Nigeria as a country has become home to several zoos and wildlife parks, including the National Children’s Park and Zoo in Abuja and the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden in Ibadan.

Speaking on the economic advantage of zoo and wildlife parks , Dr Goni said the sector has contributed an estimate of about 3.6% to Nigeria’s GDP annually.

“Therefore, the establishment of this zoo and conservatory demonstrates a moment of hope and pride for our country’s conservation efforts” he stated

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While commending the Vice Chancellor of the university Professor Olayemi Akinwumi for establishing the first zoo and conservatory in Kogi State, Dr Goni said the effort has created a center dedicated to the conservation and preservation of our unique flora and fauna.

He noted that the university has established an institution that will not only contribute to the academic growth of its students but also serve as a symbol of environmental stewardship and education for the wider community.

The Vice Chancellor of the institution, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi assured that the establishment of Federal University Lokoja Zoo and Conservatory would serves multiple vital purposes such as educational resource, providing a living laboratory for students and researchers in the field of biology, environmental science, and wildlife management.

Professor Akinwumi added that the facility would also offered hands-on learning opportunities that are essential for fostering a deep understanding of biodiversity and conservation, in addition to preserving and protecting indigenous species and their inhabitants.

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He pointed out that the effort would also raised awareness about the importance of protecting natural world , in addition to serving as a recreational and educational facility for the people of Lokoja.

Presenting the overview of the project, the Director of the zoo Professor Jacqueline Azumi Badaki explained that the Federal University Lokoja Zoo and Conservatory (FULZAC) was located on a land mass of
the 11 hectares, noting that aside animal enclosures, the Master plan also contains a Biotechnology center for breeding programmes, veterinary clinic and field trial gardens including children playground to enable them catch some within the premises.

 




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