May 4, 2021
Ogun State Government on Tuesday said it is investigating the motive behind the killing of one of its elephants in the forest by suspected hunters.
It said a veterinary expert had established dane gun wounds were observed on its body while dane gun pellets were also discovered, stressing that since it was an elephant without tusks, it is difficult to pin monetary motive to it.
Commissioner for Forestry, Tunji Akinosi, told The Nation it was also doubtful if the animal was shot for the purpose of harvesting meat (protein). According to government, from the layman’s perspective, it is looking at the direction of “accidental shooting” until expert investigation is concluded.
However, the Commissioner disclosed the ministry had received the authority to go after the perpetrators, make arrest and cause them to face appropriate sanction, adding one elephant was killed and not four.
The Commissioner also reiterated government’s commitment to conserving the elephant endemic part of its forest reserve. The Commissioner said: “We found one of our elephants dead on Saturday and it was shot between five and eight days earlier according to the veterinary doctor who followed us to see it.
“We have launched an investigation into it. It was shot with a dane gun, the hunter-like dane gun.
“The doctor saw pellets. That’s what we are investigating into. And the authorities have been informed and they will launch a manhunt for the hunter that could have shot the elephants.
“The elephant is one that does not have a tusk, we would have suggested it could have been shot for monetary reason but if it does not have tusk, what does the person want to use it for?
“Is it for meat we can’t tell because no part of it before our people got there was mutilated or taken away.
“In the last two years, no elephant has been killed anywhere in the state. None. Only about six months ago, one was giving birth, it gave birth to three and one was a stillbirth and it died. So, that should not be interpreted to mean they have killed four elephants. That is not true.”