• Tuesday, May 28, 2024
businessday logo


Hero zookeeper loses life saving woman in tragic lion attack


A  zookeeper at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) lost his life in a heroic act of selflessness on Monday, saving a female colleague from a lion attack. The tragic incident has cast a shadow over the university and sparked questions about zoo safety protocols.

59-year-old Olabode Olawuyi, a veterinary technologist with over a decade of experience caring for the animals at OAU’s zoo, s intervened when a lion lunged at a female staff member. Despite the inherent risk, Olawuyi’s instinct was to protect his colleague, putting his own life on the line.

While details remain unclear, it is believed Olawuyi attempted to distract or subdue the lion, allowing the woman to escape. Tragically, the lion turned its aggression towards Olawuyi, inflicting fatal injuries before being neutralized by a security officer.

The university community mourns Olawuyi’s passing, remembering him as a kind and dedicated professional who loved the animals he cared for. His colleagues describe him as a hero whose quick action undoubtedly saved the woman’s life.

“He must have assumed the lion would recognize him,” said Wole Odewumi, chairman of the National Association of Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU) at OAU, reflecting on Mr. Olawuyi’s selfless act. “His intervention…must have infuriated the animal, but there’s no doubt he saved her life.”

The incident has prompted the university to shut down the zoo indefinitely as investigations into the attack commence. The focus now lies on understanding the circumstances that led to this tragedy, ensuring the safety of staff and visitors in the future, and honoring the memory of Olawuyi, whose bravery will forever be etched in the hearts of the OAU community.