Conserve Wildlife, Live Wide [Part 1]

Olorogun was a great hunter from Otuosa, a village located in Mid-Western Nigeria. He had killed a lot of animals, ranging from birds to big games like the elephant. Rumours even has it that he once wrestled and killed a lion with his bare hands. Such was his hunting prowess led to him being named the head of hunters by the paramount ruler of the Kingdom. He would go into the jungle at night and hunt till daybreak, during which varieties of animals would have fallen prey to his traps and dane gun.

However, 30 years into the hunting profession, Olorogun and other hunters in the Kingdom started noticing a decline in animal population in the forest. Games had started becoming scarce and hunting was no longer profitable as it used to be. What used to be lively expeditions started turning into boring adventures. Beautiful species of birds, monkeys, reptiles that used to give life to the jungle, through their songs and hoots and hisses were nowhere to be found. They had been hunted and exterminated. The jungle was dry!

Reports of the situation were taken to the ruler who ignorantly ordered that rituals be performed to appease the gods of the land as it was perceived that they were behind the hunting woes.
Lo and behold, the situation did not improve even after goats and chickens were slaughtered for the rituals. Little did they know that the scarcity of games was a result of their over-exploitation of forest resources over the years. What could they do?!

Fortunately for them, it was around this period that a government envoy was sent to this region from the Ministry of Environment, to assess and appraise forest resources in areas surrounding the village. The envoy was composed of experts on environmental issues and forest resources.

After welcoming this government team, Olorogun, at the behest of the ruler, tabled the matter to them, seeking their opinions and solutions. On hearing the tale, the leader of the team, an expert on forestry and wildlife conservation, rebuked Olorogun and his cohorts strongly for their ignorance, which had led to the depletion of wildlife resources. He sarcastically laughed off their attribution of the issue to angry gods, saying what was happening was a consequence of their actions and inactions towards the environment.

He made it known that the team was there for that same reason. Apparently, they had heard tales of exploitation of wildlife resources in the region and had been sent to checkmate such acts. The team then went ahead to educate the hunters as well as other members of the village, on the science and importance of Wildlife Conservation.

The team started by letting all of them know why they shouldn’t be exterminating these wild animals, the speaker, a sharp looking young man pointed “you see, you all think you are doing yourselves good, but on the contrary you are not, what do to think you are doing?, you have no idea. You all should understand that these wild plants and animals and their habitats should be protected, they play a major role in balancing the eco system and provide stability to different natural processes of nature”. He was about to continue when Olorogun interrupted “you say Eko what sir?, I heard Eko is a very big city, my children are there, they will soon take me there too”. Mr Mark couldn’t hold back the laughter, he bursted out “Mr Olorogun, you are very funny, you really got me, I’m not in any way talking about Eko, I’m trying to let you know that leaving these animals alive will improve the environment which obviously we as humans will benefit from.

The team members took turns in educating the villagers. The other speakers talked about how government is involved by the creation of one national park and eighteen game reserves, enactment of wildlife laws, signing of international treaties, and manpower development. Although the desired effects have not been produced because of low level funding, lack of adequate data, bush burning that destroys the habitats of plants and animals, poaching, everything was explained hitherto, and the villagers got the message, it was clear. If everything that’s been said is for their own good, hunting is no more an option, it’s totally out of it. At least for a while.

The villagers were told that if they continue killing these animals, all of them will go into extinction, which simply mean they will disappear, in no time, there won’t be Lions, Elephants, Wolves, Rhinos and the coming generation will have no idea they ever existed.

The hunters among the gathering felt bad for killing the animals, they all wished they hadn’t. Well, it’s too late to cry over spilled milk, the best they can do is to keep the remaining alive so that they can reproduce.

trees in park

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