Residents of Jos, the Plateau State capital, have heaved a sigh of relief as a lion which escaped from the Jos Wild Life Park yesterday morning has been found and shot dead within the premises of the park.
The lion escaped from the park situated at Dong community of Jos North Local Government Area thereby causing panic among residents of nearby Dong, State and Federal Low-cost housing estates, Rantiya, Miango Road and Tudun Wada.
The lion which has been caged in the park since 1972 was said to have escaped at about 8am when park attendants went to the cage to feed it but a staff of the Tourism Cooperation confirmed “the lion was sighted within the park premises and shot dead before it could cause any harm to people.”
At the time the wild animal roamed the vicinity of the park which is not fenced, frantic efforts were made to recapture it. Security outfits in the state deployed personnel to the area to assist in keeping the animal within the park premises.
However, efforts to speak with the Acting General Manager of the State Tourism Corporation, Mr John Doy, whose organization oversees the park, was unsuccessful as he did not pick his calls but a staff who confirmed the killing of the lion lamented the death of the carnivore.
He noted: “We are not really having any significant animals in the park. It is the lion and the elephant that attract tourists the most but now that the lion is gone, we are sad because we cannot say exactly when we will have another.
“Since we lost the last hippo some years back, there has not been any replacement. We just pray that this case will be different because tourists may not really be excited if there are no high profile animals in the park.”