Metro and Crime Lagos rescues sea cow
Lagos State government has rescued a huge sea cow from a coastal community in Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development Area. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Olayiwole Onasanya, who disclosed this, said that the aquatic herbivorous mammal was rescued when it was caught by the trap set by a fisherman in the area. Onasanya explained that the mammal was an endangered species which, according to him, breeds only a single calf once in two years and listed by World Conservation Union as a species vulnerable to extinction because of its meat, bones, and skin which can bring great wealth to poachers.
He noted that the mammals were in three species of West Indian, West Africa and Amazonia with highest population in Guinea-Bissau, the lagoon of Cote d’Ivoire, the southern portions of River Niwereger in Nigeria and the coastal lagoon of Gabon. According to Onasanya, the manatee measure up to 13 feet with as much weight as 590kg which graze on water plants in tropical seas and consume about 10 per cent to 15 per cent of its body weight in vegetation.
The permanent secretary restated the commitment of government to continuous formulation of policies geared towards the preservation of wild in the state, stressing that this would add up to tourism potential of Lagos. He added that government was also taking giant strides in ensuring that fishing activities in the state became more lucrative. Onasanya promised that fish famers would always be included in the agricultural value chain empowerment of the state. According to him, the manatee has been kept safely in the custody of Origin Zoo in Ikorodu area.
He said: “This animal can be a source of tourist attraction to the state if properly taken care of. To this end, government has already taken all necessary steps in providing a conducive and habitable environment for the sea cow.’’ The fisherman, who trapped the mammal, Mr. David Oyenuro, applauded government on its swift action in preserving the animal. He urged government to continue to support the fishermen with their fishing tools. According to Oyenuro, most of their fishing implements get damaged whenever they encounter huge aquatic animals such as the manatee.