Nigeria requests Egypt to explain drowning of gorilla, chimp
Nigeria has asked Egypt to explain how a baby gorilla and a chimpanzee drowned in a vat of chemicals at that country's airport, state-run Radio Nigeria reported Saturday.
The two animals, valued at between 300,000 dollars and one million dollars, were said to have been illegally taken from Nigeria by an Egyptian businesswoman last year.
State-run Radio Nigeria quoted Nigeria's Environment Minister Mohammad Sa'id as saying the animals were drowned by Egyptian veterinary officials last September 17 on arrival at Cairo airport, AFP said. No official reason was given for the action, it added.
"The federal government of Nigeria wishes to express displeasure over the cruel treatment of the animals, and is seeking explanation from the Egyptian authorities through diplomatic channels," he said.
He further added it was illegal for the animals to be taken out of Nigeria without a valid Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) license. CITES bans the trade in highly endangered animals born in the wild.
Last month, Nigerian conservationists protested after four baby gorillas were exported to a Malaysian zoo, demanding that they be returned to the country. (Albawaba.com)
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