News from the wild

Rest in Peace, Shadow!

From the Gamji Gate Zoo Rescue

Published on: December 5, 2020

Unfortunately, we are sad to share Shadow’s passing. Over the last few days, his condition took a turn for the worse and it was becoming clear that we were going to say goodbye sooner than expected.

Shadow lived inside a concrete cage that was his ‘home’ for the eight years of his miserable life. He never touched grass, never seen a tree or blue sky, and his disgraceful home was a state-owned zoo in an area prone to flood in Kaduna, Nigeria.

In September when his cage flooded, he suspended himself above objects to breathe for five long days while also starving. No one helped him, it was not until Wild at Life e.V. implemented an emergency plan to help all the animals in the zoo, that things started to improve. Within 24 hours, our veterinarian and team were by his side fighting for his survival.

We are heartbroken but take comfort in the fact that, for the first time in his eight years in captivity, he had the best medical care, the best nutrients-dense food, he had our team and the world fighting for his survival, but the damage done to his lungs was irreversible. The flood and the five days in water caused lasting damage and he was simply left out without any help for too long.

He had a strong will to remain alive, always greeted our team with his bright eyes and never lost his appetite and stood proud with his head above all problems. Farewell, dear Shadow.

Wild at Life e.V. has persistently pushed all negotiations with Kaduna State and we have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to make our work long-lasting. The Kaduna State has now agreed with our work plan so WE ARE CLOSING DOWN THE ZOO.

Closing down Gamji Gate Zoo

This is the first time a state-owned zoo in Nigeria will be closing due to the work of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) like us, and we are extremely proud of our intensive work – having seen large charities take seven years and spending incoming donations to take legal action, we are proud to have achieved this with the work of our passionate volunteers – this enables us to use your donation directly on the animals in urgent need. This means that all animals held at Gamji Gate Zoo will be relocated under our supervision, expert advice, and care. We have signed an MOU with the government of Kaduna State who will see the lives of the remaining animals protected and relocated. We will start to move the animals to ethical sanctuaries and reserves. They will never again face hunger, pain or exploitation.

We thank the governor of Kaduna State through Kaduna Investment Promotion Agency for bringing such a positive change. We hope other states in Nigeria will follow suit in closing down zoos and bringing animals to sanctuaries. The world would be a much better place if wildlife remained in the wild.

This is the second zoo Wild at Life e.V. has closed down and rescued animals within months apart, the first being in Burkina Faso. We will continue fighting for biodiversity and species conservation.

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This post refers to one of our projects. Read more about the related project to find out the background of this story.

Kaduna, Nigeria
Kaduna, Nigeria

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