Roar Of Grief: OAU Mourns Loss Of Dedicated Zookeeper To Lion Attack

In a tragic turn of events, the serene campus of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, plunged into sorrow as Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, a devoted Veterinary Technologist overseeing the Zoological garden for over a decade, met an untimely demise at the hands of a 9-year-old male lion.

The chilling incident unfolded on the afternoon of Monday, 19th February, 2024, when Olawuyi was carrying out his routine task of feeding the lions in their den. 

Despite the courageous efforts of his colleagues, the ferocious feline inflicted fatal injuries before any rescue could be mounted.

As news of the tragedy spread, the university’s management, led by Vice-Chancellor Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire, hastily concluded an ongoing meeting to assess the situation firsthand. 

Dr. Tirimisiyu Olatunji, the Acting Director of the University Health and Medical Centre, sadly reported that all medical attempts to save Olawuyi’s life were in vain.

The heart-wrenching loss prompted the decision to euthanize the aggressive lion responsible for the attack, ending its nine-year existence on campus. 

Ironically, Olawuyi had been caring for these lions since their birth, only for the very creature he nurtured to turn against him.

In an empathetic gesture, the university’s management dispatched a delegation to console the grieving family of the deceased, urging them to find solace in the divine, acknowledging the unpredictable nature of life.

Vice-Chancellor Bamire  has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident, seeking to uncover both immediate and remote causes. 

The tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the inherent risks faced by those dedicated to the care of wild animals, even within the confines of an educational institution.

PLATFORM TIMES reports that as the campus mourns the loss of a dedicated staff member, the memory of Mr. Olabode Olawuyi will linger on, a poignant tale of dedication and tragedy in the heart of OAU’s Zoological garden. May his soul rest in peace.


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