Zookeeper dies saving woman from lion — NASU chair

In a tragic incident that has gripped the Obafemi Awolowo University community in Ile-Ife, Osun State, the campus’s zoological garden has been closed indefinitely following the fatal attack on a staff member by a lion. The victim, identified as Mr. Olabode Olawuyi, a 59-year-old veterinary technologist, met his untimely demise on Monday while heroically attempting to save a female colleague from the clutches of the nine-year-old lion.


Zookeeper dies saving woman from lion — NASU chair

The National Association of Non-Academic Staff of Universities, OAU branch, under the chairmanship of Mr. Wole Odewumi, confirmed the closure of the zoo by the university management. In a heartfelt interview, Odewumi recounted the harrowing events that led to Olawuyi’s death. According to colleagues, the tragedy unfolded as the lion first attacked a woman, also a staff member working at the zoo. In a brave but fateful intervention, Olawuyi tried to distract the animal to save the woman, mistakenly believing the lion would recognize him. This action, however, turned the lion’s aggression towards him, resulting in severe injuries that led to his death before he could reach the campus health center.

The university community has been plunged into mourning, with a procession held in Olawuyi’s honor, reflecting the profound loss felt across the campus. The management, acknowledging the gravity of the incident, has engaged with the bereaved family and promised a thorough investigation. A committee, inclusive of union representation, is to be established to address the underlying issues and ensure such a tragic event does not recur.

Olawuyi, who was born on December 22, 1965, and was set to retire in 2025, is remembered for his dedication to his profession and the tragic circumstances of his passing. In a statement, the university’s Public Relations Officer, Abiodun Olanrewaju, detailed the valiant efforts made by staff members to save Olawuyi from the fatal mauling. The incident, captured in a distressing video, concluded with the lion being neutralized by security personnel, marking a somber day in the university’s history.

This tragic event has not only led to the temporary closure of the zoological garden but has also sparked a conversation on safety measures and protocols in handling potentially dangerous animals within educational institutions. The university’s commitment to investigating the incident and taking necessary actions is a step towards ensuring the safety of its community and preventing such tragedies in the future.

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