Nigerian Zookeeper Mauled to Death by Lion He Raised Since Birth After He Forgot to Lock the Door

Olabode Olawuyi
Olabode Olawuyi (left) and a lion in its enclosure at the Houston Zoo (For representational purposes only). Twitter

A zookeeper who had been taking care of lions for almost a decade was killed by one of the big cats at a Nigerian university.

As reported by BBC News, Olabode Olawuyi was in charge of the zoo at Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU).

He was attacked Monday when he was feeding the lions. His colleagues tried to save him but by the time they could do anything, one of the lions had already fatally wounded him, the university said in a statement. The lion has since been put down, the statement added.

Olawuyi Took Care of the Lion Since its Birth 9 Years Ago

Mr Olawuyi was a veterinary technologist who had been "taking care of the lions since they were born on campus about nine years ago," university's spokesman Abiodun Olarewaju said, as per the outlet.

"Tragically, the male lion killed the man who had been feeding them. We never knew what came over the male lion that it had to attack [him]," Mr Olarewaju said.

The university's vice-chancellor, Professor Adebayo Simeon Bamire, said he was "saddened" by the incident and ordered a thorough investigation.

Attack Caused by 'Human Error' After Zookeeper Forgot to Lock the Door After Feeding

Separately, the students' union leader, Abbas Akinremi, described the incident as unfortunate and said that the attack was caused by "human error" after the zookeeper had forgotten to lock the door after feeding the lions. Mr Akinremi also paid tribute to Mr Olawuyi. He was a "good and humble man, who attended to us nicely whenever we went to the zoo," he said.

Nigerians on social media have been sharing graphic images of the mauling at the university in Osun state in the south-west.