Mr John Mshelbwala, a Wildlife Officer with the Federal Ministry of Environment, has warned Nigerians to desist from killing elephants. Mshelbwala, who gave the warning in Abuja yesterday, said the animals play crucial role in sustaining and conserving the environment.
He said the warning was necessary due to the high rate of extinction of elephants in recent times in the country.Mshelbwala said the population of the animals had drastically reduced to 1,600 in savannah grassland and other forest reserves in the country due to the high rate of poaching activities.
The wildlife officer said the high rate of extinction of elephants was caused mainly by human activities.Mshelbwala added that preventing the untimely death of the animals would ensure equilibrium of the ecosystem.
"Plants, other species of animals, ants and bees, among others, benefit from the survival of elephants in the forest," he said.Mshelbwala said elephants also assist in opening forest cover, saying that removing them from the ecosystem would lead to the collapse of forest cover.
Mshelbwala urged all stakeholders to ensure that the animal does not go into extinction.