Over twenty youths suspected to be hoodlums allegedly invaded the premises of the Imo State zoo located at Nekede, Owerri West Local Government Area on Saturday and carted away some properties belonging to the management.
General Manager of the Imo state zoological garden, Francis Abioye disclosed this to newsmen while conducting them round some of the areas damaged by the suspects.
Abioye said the hoodlums gained entrance to the premises of the zoo through a perimeter fencing .
Although he said he does not know the motive behind the invasion but he quickly added that some members of the community had earlier dared him on alleged encroachment of their land.
” This land belongs to the government and it is against the law for anybody to forcefully attempt to encroach on the zoo. I have been here since 2003, I have not seen such before,” Abioye said.
He continued “we woke up to see the fence of the zoo broken and they gained access to the zoo, all the pipes and some materials for the housing of new animals we are planning to bring in have all been carted away, this properties are expensive, even the properties in our canteen, two refrigerators were carted away,” Abioye recounted.
Although some of the animals were still inside their cage when our correspondent visited the zoo, however, “the ones not in cage may be at the risk of wandering away through the broken fence” according to one of the workers in the zoo.