Varsity Gives Further Details On Zookeeper Killed By Lion


Authorities of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Osun State have released further details on how Olabode Olawuyi, a zookeeper was mauled and killed by a nine-year-old lion on Monday.

The PUNCH, which quotes Wale Odewumi Chairman of the National Association of Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), OAU branch, as saying that the management of the university had shut the garden, reported that the deceased died while attempting to save a woman initially attacked by the beast.

Hear him: “I spoke to some of his colleagues, and they told me what happened. The lion attacked a woman first. The woman is also a staff working at the zoo. The deceased intervened to free the woman from the lion.

“He must have assumed that the lion would recognise him. His intervention to free the woman must have infuriated the animal. The lion left the woman and attacked him squarely.

“After he was freed from the lion’s grip, they rushed him to the health centre on campus here.

“He however died before he got there. But the second person that was attacked, a woman, is still on admission receiving treatment presently.”

Odewumi, who also informed that a mourning procession was held on the campus on Tuesday in honour of Olawuyi while the management of the university met with his family, added: “We held a mourning procession in honour of the deceased this morning and members of the management addressed us after that sober event.

“All unions on campus joined the procession. The management promised to take necessary action. There will be a committee that his union will also have a representative in, that will work on the issues raised. I have visited the scene. The zoo has been locked up. It is officially locked up.

“The management will not want anybody to go there for now. Some members of the family of the deceased were around and we handed them over to the management.”

Born on  December 22nd, 1965, the 59-year-old Olawuyi, had just one year to work at the university, which stipulates 60 years of age and 35 years of service for civil servants in Nigeria retire from service, thus he would have exited in 2025.

On Monday, Abiodun Olanrewaju, spokesman of the institution, had announced the incident in a terse statement, which was short on details, explaining how members of staff who were at the scene of the incident did everything within their power to rescue the deceased, but could not, as the animal held him and mauled him.

A video of the scene of the incident, later showed how the lion was later shot dead by a security operative working with the school, as the mangled remains of the late Olawuyi soaked in blood were laid at the entrance to the garden.



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