Imo government on Wednesday gave out its three Lions to a philanthropist Innocent Onwubiko for adoption.
This is just as the State government and the philanthropist has signed a Memorandum of Understanding ( MoU) for the adoption of the three Lions which will terminate after one year.
Giving reason for the adoption, Onwubiko told journalists that he had decided to adopt the animals to support wildlife conservation in the state and Nigeria.
He said he would cater for the welfare of the three Lions until the expiration of their MoU.
“I want to support Imo government to sustain the life of the Lions because to feed a Lion is very expensive.
“I am a lover of nature and this is one of the ways Onwubiko Foundation will show love to animals and promote wildlife conservation in the country”,; he said.
Onwubiko commended the Imo government for approving the adoption of the wild species, admonished the government to upgrade the Owerri Zoological garden and wildlife park to an international standard.
The General Manager of Imo Zoological Garden and Wildlife Park Mr Francis Abioye commended Onwubiko for showing interest in wildlife preservation.
He said “This is the first time in the history of Imo where animal was adopted by individual.
“Gov. Hope Uzodinma’s administration has advanced the cause of wildlife conservation in Imo, this arrangement will help to sustain the lifespan of the Lions because they are special species known as West African Lion.
“When any specie of plant or animal goes into extinction or terminated from the system, the world changes and our generation should preserve them from going into extinction”, he said.