Nigeria:Gorilla Roams Cross River Villages
Calabar — Village heads of Okiro and Ofambe in Obudu local authorities regions of Cross River State have confirmed that a male gorilla currently saunters about in their communities.
Speaking to Daily Trust, Chief Julius Ochui of Ofambe village and Chief Augustine Bitte of all Okiro village said they’d cautioned their topics against assaulting the animal since it wasn’t violent.
They said they spotted the animal a month going about its business in elements of the villages adjacent to thick woods.
“We’ve tolerated the animal as it isn’t assaulting our people,” Chief Bitte said.
Dr. Inaoyom Imong of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) in Calabar said they had been aware of the animal. “A large male gorilla was seen around the border of both Okiro and Ofambe villages 10 kms from the border of the woods. Ordinarily he would have been instantly murdered but educated chiefs rule both of these villages. His existence has been tolerated by the two communities, at least for now,”
Imong said, adding that the animal was likely searching for a spouse and could soon return to its habitat.
“As long as the gorilla is left alone it will likely find its way back into the woods,” he said.
Andrew Dunn, the nation director of WCS in Nigeria, described the development as quite good because previously the animal would have been murdered, thereby further diluting its low number.