The committee also investigated the death of a giant tortoise valued N250, 000 and a crocodile valued at N500, 000 in the zoo.
In his contributions, Mr Ugonna Ozurigbo (PDP-Nwangele), decried the panic in the state over the rumoured escape of the lion from the zoo on Monday.
“The lion is rumoured to be at large in Owerri West. I wish to call for the permanent closure of the zoo as activities there are unserious and at high risk,’’ Ozurigbo said.
Also, Mr Innocent Ekeh (APC-Owerri West), confirmed the incident and informed the assembly that he had received several calls over the rumoured escape of the lion.
Ekeh, who called for the management of the zoo to report to the assembly for further clarification, blamed the incident on the management’s recklessness.
The member representing Ideato North, Mrs Eudora Igwe, called for increase subvention to the zoo management to ensure its smooth running.
Igwe noted that the lion would not have escaped if the premises had been properly secured and called for total renovation and rehabilitation of the zoo.
Ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Donatus Ozoemena, who presided over the session, noted that there was urgent need for change in the zoo.
Ozoemena directed the member representing Owerri West to visit the zoo and confirm the rumoured escape. (NAN)