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Group raises the alarm, says elephants becoming extinct in Nigeria



A group under the auspices of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has called on the Federal Government to protect the remaining elephants in Nigeria and save them from extinction.

In a statement on Saturday made available to newsmen in Lagos, the group’s Country Director, Andrew Dunn, said Nigeria was home to hundreds of thousands of elephants that used to roam the country.

However, he said less than 400 of the elephants were currently surviving in the country because of the poaching for their ivory and habitat loss.

He maintained that unless urgent action is taken, the remaining elephants can be wiped out in less than 10 years.

READ ALSO: There are only 300 elephants in Nigeria’s wildlife —NCF

Meanwhile, Dunn said efforts to save the remaining elephants in the country had led to an engagement between the Federal Ministry of Environment, WCS, and Elephant Protection Initiative (EPI), in Abuja.

“Ten elephant sites were identified during the workshop, including three national parks, and participants produced a list of priority actions needed to save elephants at each site.

“Five of the sites identified are small and isolated and have fewer than 50 elephants each.

“Despite the threats, it is not too late to save elephants from extinction in Nigeria, but significant resources and improved political support will be required,” Dunn said.

He said Nigeria had two different species of elephant: the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) and the savanna or bush elephant (Loxodonta Africana).

According to him, forest elephants are now classified as critically endangered, following an 86 per cent population decline over the last 30 years.

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