A major feat has been achieved in the ongoing efforts by the government with supports from private sector stakeholders at checking illegal trafficking, killing, and consumption of endangered organisms in the country.
This follows the rescue of a Manatee at Epe area of Lagos State, where it was held captive by some alleged wildlife traffickers. The operation was conducted by officials of the National Environmental Standards and Regulations Enforcement Agency, NESREA. Manatee is a several plant-eating mammal that is on the red list of endangered organisms.
A statement made available to newsmen says the sting operation by NESREA alongside WildAid and researchers from the Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research successfully rescued the endangered manatee that had been held captive for a month as its captors searched for buyers. Epe has been in the news as among hot spots in the country for illegal wildlife trafficking and trade.
Similarly, Four Hundred and fifty-six elephant ivories, together with six-point two tonnes of pangolin scales allegedly being trafficked from Nigeria have been intercepted in Vietnam.
A report about the seizure was published in Vietnamese but a short English article accompanied it. It says Customs officers at Da Nang Port, Vietnam took precautionary measures when they spotted consignment labeled as cashew nuts. Upon inspection, it was discovered that the shipment was wrongly declared as it contained elephant ivory and pangolin scales.
According to the report, Nigeria has been heavily implicated in the smuggling of ivory and pangolin scales from Africa to Asia. “Both elephant ivory and pangolin scales cannot be traded internationally for commercial purposes being body parts of organisms protected by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, CITES which Nigeria is a signatory.