Nigeria’s atmosphere ministry has launched an investigation after a video emerged of an endangered manatee, also referred to as a sea cow, being dragged alongside a dusty highway by a gaggle of younger males.
It isn’t clear when the footage was filmed.
The animal has been tied in ropes and may be seen making an attempt to get away.
Deputy atmosphere minister Sharon Ikeazor branded the video “very distressing”, and mentioned officers have been making an attempt to rescue the creature.
Ms Ikeazor mentioned the incident happened within the oil-rich Niger Delta area, and referred to as for an consciousness marketing campaign “to coach our folks to guard the manatee”.
Manatees are massive marine mammals that are largely herbivorous.
It’s unlawful to hunt them in Nigeria, however they’re nonetheless killed for his or her meat, oil, and organs that are utilized in conventional drugs, AFP information company stories.
Many individuals within the Niger Delta are poor, regardless of the area’s oil wealth.
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Strain group the Blue Planet Society, which campaigns to protect ocean life, mentioned it was surprising “supposedly protected West African manatee may be abused in such a public manner”.
There are about 10,000 manatees alongside the coast of West Africa, AFP stories, however their numbers are in steep decline.