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Deceased zookeeper was attempting to rescue female colleague – NASU Chairman

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Olabode Olawuyi, the zookeeper mauled to death by a 9-year-old lion at the zoological garden of the Obafemi Awolowo University, OAU, Ile-Ife, Osun State was attempting to rescue a female colleague from the beast.

This was revealed by Wole Odewumi, the Chairman of the OAU branch of the National Association of Non-Academic Staff of Universities, NASU, on Tuesday.

Odewumi, who was chatting with journalists, also revealed that the zoological garden has been shut down by the management of the institution.

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The OAU management had through a statement by its spokesperson, Abiodun Olarewaju confirmed on Monday that Olawuyi was mauled to death by a male lion.

Olanrewaju, also explained that members of staff who were at the scene of the incident did everything within their power to rescue the deceased, but could not, as the animal held him.

“The veterinary technologist was attacked by the lion while he was attempting to free a woman, who was first attacked by the lion.

“I spoke to some of his colleagues, and they told me what happened. The lion attacked a woman first. The woman is also a staff member working at the zoo.

“The deceased intervened to free the woman from the lion. He must have assumed that the lion would recognise him. His intervention to free the woman must have infuriated the animal. The lion left the woman and attacked him squarely,” Odewumi revealed.

He said that Olawuyi died on transit before getting medical help.

“After he was freed from the lion’s grip, they rushed him to the health centre on campus here. He however died before he got there.

“But the second person that was attacked, a woman, is still on admission receiving treatment presently,” he added.

The OAU NASU Chairman also said a mourning procession was held on Tuesday in honour of Olawuyi while the management of the university met with his family.

He said, “We held a mourning procession in honour of the deceased this morning and members of the management addressed us after that sober event.

“All unions on campus joined the procession. The management promised to take necessary action. There will be a committee that his union will also have a representative in, that will work on the issues raised. I have visited the scene. The zoo has been locked up. It is officially locked up.

“The management will not want anybody to go there for now. Some members of the family of the deceased were around and we handed them over to the management.”


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