The Forestry Commission has lamented the inadequate human resources running the entire premises of the Accra Zoo.
The Commission on Sunday, August 28 reported the death of a middle-aged man alleged to have sneaked into the zoo.
The deceased is believed to have been attacked by a lion. Following the incident, a section of the public questioned the security arrangement put in place by the commission at the zoo.
In an interview with Citi News, however, the Head of Corporate Affairs and Media Relations at the Forestry Commission, Joyce Ofori Kwafo said if the commission had the adequate human capacity to man the facility, the unfortunate incident could have been prevented.
“We are just making use of the few staff members that we have to do all the work. Look at how big the Achimota Forest is. The zoo alone is about 19 hectares, and we have just a handful of men who go round doing the normal patrols. We are also trying to make good use of the little resources that we have. We need more staff, not only security guards, to do the work. In as much as we try to use technology, it is still not enough because the numbers are just inadequate.”
Meanwhile, the Accra Zoo has been closed down.
The move by the Forestry Commission authorities is to allow for investigations into the death of the middle-aged man.
Joyce Ofori Kwafo told Citi News “a staff of the Accra Zoo was going round [the facility] and noticed a lifeless body in the lion cage. He quickly drew closer to assess the situation. They quickly called in the Achimota police after which the body was conveyed to the mortuary.”
She said the Commission is certain that the deceased broke into the cage.
“After a closer look, we realised that the deceased intruded. He did not use the right means to enter the zoo. The zoo is situated in the Achimota Forest. Whenever we get tourists, we assign tour guides to them. The cages of the lions are a bit far away from where the rest of the animals are. The idea is to give the lions something close to their natural habitat.”
“The place has been properly secured. It has an outer and inner lock. The inner wall is 20 ft high. It is evident that the man tampered with the cage. We all suspect that he went in through there.”
The Forestry Commission further cleared the authorities of the zoo of any blame.
“There was no security lapse. This incident beats our understanding. It has never happened before and we are all baffled,” she added.