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Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

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Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

By: Bright Olunusi

The term “wild” implies creatures untouched by the direct influence of humanity, preserving their instincts and behaviors. On the other hand, zoological gardens serve as ex-situ conservation sites, showcasing these magnificent animals to the public, albeit in a tamed and controlled environment. Families flock to zoos for leisure and education, seeking to witness the wonders of nature up close. One of the questions bothering the minds of tourists and non-experts from the field is, are these wild animals truly domesticated?
While years of captivity may temper their ferocity to some extent, labeling them as pets would be a grave misjudgment. Instances abound where wild animals, including lions, have lashed out at unsuspecting visitors, reminding us of the untamed essence that lies beneath their captive facade. Such encounters often end in tragedy, as evidenced by the recent incident at the zoological garden of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife.
Without prejudice to the university’s ongoing inquiry into the remote cause of the death of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, a veterinary technician in the zoological garden of the institution, whom the employer claimed had been tendering the nine-year-old lion from birth. Consider the plight of the zookeeper who, for close to a decade, tended to a lion under the mistaken belief of familiarity and safety. Tragedy often struck when zoo users or the attendants ignored the established protocols for handling wild animals. This unfortunate incident serves as a stark reminder of the inherent dangers posed by human-wildlife interactions within captive settings.
Indeed, human-wildlife conflicts manifest in various forms, ranging from loss of life and property to the transmission of diseases. The OAU Ife Zoo incident epitomizes this perilous nexus, underscoring the need for stringent safety measures and heightened awareness among zoo personnel and visitors alike. There are documented instances of wild animals attacking their caregivers, tourists, or those who cross their paths in their wild moments. For instance, in 2017, a harrowing incident unfolded at the Agodi Zoological Gardens when a lion managed to escape from its enclosure, leading to the devastating loss of a zoo curator’s life. This incident led to the temporary closure of the facility by the Oyo state government as a precautionary measure. In a similar vein, a tragic event unfolded in Texas in 2010 when a man was fatally kicked by his pet deer while trying to feed it, necessitating the deer’s euthanization. In 2011, in Indonesia, seven dogs, starved for two weeks, fatally attacked their owner upon his return. In 2012, a horrifying incident occurred at the Pittsburgh Zoo when a toddler fell into an African-painted dog enclosure and was fatally attacked.
To mitigate such human-wildlife conflict (HWC), especially in conservation areas, several safety precautions must be adhered to. Visitors should supervise their children closely to prevent them from wandering off and should refrain from leaning over cages or attempting to view animals from unsafe distances. It is crucial not to touch or feed the animals and to maintain a safe distance from enclosures. Proper sanitation practices, including thorough handwashing after visits, are essential to prevent the transmission of diseases.
Furthermore, zookeepers must exercise caution. They should avoid becoming overly familiar with the animals and must ensure that enclosures and cages are securely locked before and after feeding times. Regular inspections should be conducted to identify and address any structural weaknesses or faults in facilities.
In conclusion, as a wildlife conservationist who has witnessed firsthand the delicate balance between human presence and animal instincts, I implore greater vigilance and respect for the wild within captive environments. Only through fostering a deeper understanding of wildlife behavior and implementing robust safety protocols can we mitigate the risks inherent in our coexistence with these magnificent creatures.

Bright Olunusi
Boston University, Massachusetts, USA.
brightolunusi@gmail.com

Unending Search for a Common Ground: Understanding the Dynamics of Human and Wildlife Conflict

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Zulum commends management of BOSU for taking the institution to the next level

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Zulum commends management of BOSU for taking the institution to the next level

By: Bodunrin kayode

Borno State Governor Professor Babagana Zulum has commended the management of Borno State University led by Prof. Umar Sandabe, for taking the University to the next level .pp

The Governor who is the visitor to the University, gave the commendation, when the top management of the institution paid him Sallah Homage at the Government House recently.

Zulum observed that, though they may have faced challenges and made mistakes here and there, as human beings, one can never be perfect which is why he is grateful to them for a job well done.

On the admission and recruitment of personnel, Zulum emphasized that, it must conform with the purpose for which the institution was established which is primarily to provide our teaming youth with tertiary education.

He stressed that, though he is not against admitting students from other parts of the country, priority, must always be given to students of Borno state extraction.

On staff recruitment, Governor Zulum observed that, most of the lecturers are borrowed from University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID) either on sabbatical or visiting, a situation that does not auger too well with the academic staff development of the young University in the long term.

He therefore directed the VC to see him, so as to re-strategize on the long and short term needs of human capital development.

Zulum restated his commitment and determination to develop the University at all costs into a contemporary institution ready to serve the needs of the state.

He added that, the BOSU Teaching Hospital being constructed by the State Government will be completed this year for the faculty of health sciences.

Earlier,Vice Chancellor BOSU, Professor Umar Sandabe,said, they were at the Government House to felicitate with him for successful completion of the Ramadan Fast and Eid el Fitr prayer and also to formally inform him that his tenure ends this month.

Professor Sandabe thanked the Governor for his “focus” and interest in the development of the University and for the tremendous support he gave the management team throughout their tenure.

Zulum commends management of BOSU for taking the institution to the next level

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US CDC Donates Disease Detective Equipment to Nigeria

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US CDC Donates Disease Detective Equipment to Nigeria

By: Michael Mike

The United States Centre for Disease Control has donated disease detective equipments to Nigeria.

The Equioments were received on Friday in Abuja on behalf of the Federal Government by the Director General, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr.Jide Idris.

The laboratory supplies is expected to beef up the country’s outbreak response capacity, and includes biosafety cabinets, sample collection materials, and other essential laboratory commodities.

Programme Director, U.S. CDC Division of Global Health Protection, Dr. Farah Husain, said the donation was part of the efforts in helping Nigeria address the challenge of disease outbreaks.

She said that the equipment will help sustain the quality and high outputs of Nigeria’s labs.

She also assured Nigeria of her country’s commitment to help develop response capacity in protecting the people against disease outbreaks.

She said: “The United States is committed to working hand-in-hand with Nigeria to build response capacity and protect the health of our peoples,” adding that: “Today, we gather to celebrate a concrete example of the strong partnership between the United States and Nigeria

“The U.S. Government, via the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is proud to donate equipment and supplies to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control and Prevention to support emergency response laboratory activities.

“Nigeria is currently facing several ongoing disease outbreaks, including Lassa fever, diphtheria, and meningitis.

“Laboratory scientists play a vital role in quickly detecting and confirming cases, which is crucial for an an effective outbreak response.

” The increased volume of laboratory work created by these simultaneous outbreaks creates a pressing need for additional resources.

“Together, with laboratories as the cornerstone of our collaborative work, we can quickly and effectively prevent and respond to outbreaks.”

She revealed that health workers were not left out as there were personal protective equipment for safety of laboratory workers, stating that: “Additionally, we have included large amounts of personal protective equipment to safeguard the health and safety of laboratory workers. Whether in the subnational labs, health facilities, or the communities they serve, this donation will directly help save lives,” CDC Programme Director said.

In his remarks, NCDC boss assured the US government that the equioments will be judiciously put to use.

Idris noted that the gesture is going to boost the country’s disease detection and capability ability.

While hailing the importance of the collaboration with the US government, Idris stressed that no government can fund health system because it is very expensive.

He explained that: “No government can fund health system and that’s where we require this kind of collaboration from different partners.

“The idea and the goal is to reduce the incidence

“What concerns us mostly here is health security. This is key because a nation’s mandate to the people is to ensure that the health of the people is sacrosanct in terms of preventing the people from catching any disease, and if so, where that progression, activity is not adequate, but ensure that you properly detect whatever disease that is occurred and at the same time respond to it.

“Like we said, the government is funding the sector, but the funding may not necessarily be adequate now. That is why the health system is very expensive. No government can fund it on its own. That is why it requires this kind of collaboration from different partners.

“More importantly, in terms of global health security, one of the major focus is collaboration, partnerships both internationally, nationally and sub-nationally because everybody is coming in with different expertise and we will not necessarily have all the expertise we need but with this kind of collaboration in boosting productivity.

“The goal is to achieve our objective to reduce incidents of disease. And where you cannot stop that we respond adequately so that we can bring down the effect of any disease that is the essence here.

“So collaboration. Partnerships are key essentials of health security..”

US CDC Donates Disease Detective Equipment to Nigeria

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Leading Intellectuals, Policymakers, Technocrats to Gather in Abuja for Reawakening the African Renaissance

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Leading Intellectuals, Policymakers, Technocrats to Gather in Abuja for Reawakening the African Renaissance

By: Michael Mike

Leading intellectuals, policymakers, technocrats, and changemakers would be gathered in Abuja to engage in stimulating discussions and showcase bold ideas and disruptive solutions that can propel Africa towards a future of inclusive prosperity and sustainable development.

The gathering is organized by the School of Politics, Policy & Governance (SPPG) in partnership with Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, named “Big Ideas Platform”

The first edition under the broad theme of “Reawakening the African Renaissance: Pathways to Inclusive Growth and Development”, debuted in 2023 and had five dynamic citizens of Africa whose ideas illuminated bold solutions that can enhance the quality of life in African communities shared a platform to tell a diverse audience the story of their big idea.

According to a statement on Friday, this year’s edition is also a collaboration of the School of Politics, Policy & Governance (SPPG) and Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Foundation, taking place on May 25th, 2024, will explore the theme “Information Technology and Behavioural Change”.

The statement added that this thought leadership initiative event will gather leading intellectuals, policymakers, technocrats, and changemakers to engage in stimulating discussions and showcase bold ideas and disruptive solutions that can propel Africa towards a future of inclusive prosperity and sustainable development.

The statement further revealed that @The Big Ideas Platform” is an intellectual convergence of concepts, a marketplace of ideas, where exceptional African minds convene to engage in robust conversations. The platform will facilitate the sharing, generation and collaboration of fresh ideas, innovative solutions and implementation strategies to address Africa’s plethora of challenges.

Speaking on the event, the CEO of SPPG,
Alero Ayida-Otobo, said: “The Big Ideas Platform is a thought leadership initiative that serves as a platform for launching new thinking, spotlighting visionary individuals, and illuminating bold ideas that have the potential to improve the lives of African communities”

According to her, the Big Ideas Platform will serve as a catalyst for change, fostering a community of forward-thinking individuals committed to translating ideas into impactful actions that shape the continent’s future.

She disclosed that the Big Ideas Platform 2024 focuses on the crucial role of information technology and behavioural change in propelling Africa towards a better future.

Dr Amina, Faculty of SPPG, said, “We must remember that technology is a tool, and for a sustainable and enduring African Renaissance, we must reconsider how technology is harnessed to drive system change that benefits everyone, helping to shift behaviour from damaging to managing our scarce resources.”

Key areas of focus at Big Ideas Platform 2024, according to the statement, will include: Blockchain technology: This is premised on immutable records to protect legal tender such as academic certificates and to earn revenue; Virtual Reality: A four-dimensional visual experience of hard-to-reach places such as conflict zones to build awareness and empathy and inform accurate urgent action; Artificial intelligence: Non-animate machines trained to think and act like humans for humans, for example, identifying fake news; Environmental Awareness: Child-centred learning tools to shift children’s understanding of waste and its management to secure wealth and the environment.

The lineup of panellists for this year’s edition include: Toyosi Akerele-Ogunsiji, EdTech professional and Founder of Passnownow.com; Oluseun Badejo, Team Lead of SPPG Blockchain project; Mrs. Sian (Shan) Cuffy Young, Founder of Siel (Sigh-el) Environmental; and Ahmad Salkida, Investigative Reporter.

According to the statement, the event is opened to the public, and registration is free. It will be a great opportunity to learn from thought leaders and professionals, who have the requisite knowledge about improving Africa’s economy and enhancing its development.

The event is scheduled for May 25, 2024 between 11:00 AM – 12 PM WAT (GMT+1) at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre and would be zoomed live, interested members of the public are advised to register
on thesppg.org/bip2024 website and stay up to date with event updates.

Leading Intellectuals, Policymakers, Technocrats to Gather in Abuja for Reawakening the African Renaissance

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