The stray lion at the Kano Zoological Garden returned to its cage in the night without the assistance of the Abuja National Park experts who arrived Kano on Sunday.
The Managing Director of the Kano Zoological Garden, Sa’id Gwadabe-Gwarzo, confirmed this to journalists on Monday saying that “the lion incidentally entered its cage by itself late in the night.”
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that the lion refused to enter its cage after it was returned along with 14 other animals from an exhibition held in Nasarawa State.
After the lion escaped on Saturday, it was found on Sunday near a cage belonging to goats. Tranquilizers were fired at it to demobilise it and take it to its cage. But it resisted the tranquilizers and continued roaming the bushes within the zoo premises.
The zoo management on Sunday initially said the lion had been captured but later said it had only been located and was being monitored. The management, however, assured that the lion would be captured alive.
On Sunday night, the zoo management suspended the recapture effort till Monday morning due to poor lighting.
The zoo had been cordoned by security personnel for safety of residents.
By Monday, the lion had strayed into its own cage on its own, the official said.
Earlier Governor Abdullahi Ganduje had issued a shoot-to-kill order on the stray lion.
Mr Ganduje opted for the lion’s death as a last resort if it poses significant threat to human lives, according to the spokesperson of the Kano zoo, Hadiyatullahi Garba.
Mr Garba told Freedom Radio on Sunday evening that the zoo authorities sought the intervention of Abuja National Park, because they “don’t have adequate tranquilizers that can sedate the lion easily.”
He added that they were expecting the arrival of some experts to capture the 15-year-old lion, which he said is worth N4 million.
Also, police spokesperson, Abdullahi Kiyawa, said personnel had already been arranged to eventually kill the lion if all efforts to capture it safely, failed.
The killing of the lion has now become unnecessary.
The lion had attacked and devoured four goats and two ostriches while roaming the bushes at the zoo premises.