CALABAR – Some residents of Atekong Drive, Marian area, Calabar, have protested against a monkey ranch in their neighbourhood.
The residents said they were concerned about the Drill Ranch close to them, describing it as very dangerous and unsafe in view of the outbreak of Ebola disease in the country.
One of them, Mr Effiong Okon, said since the news of Ebola virus broke out, the residents have been living in perpetual fear.
“These animals are not supposed to be living in the midst of human beings, especially when monkeys are known to be part of the animals that transmit the Ebola virus.
“I appeal to the authorities to consider the health challenges posed by this ranch and relocate it to another place’’, Okon said.
Another resident, Miss Rose Akpan, also expressed fear over the ranch, saying that it was very dangerous to the health of the people.
“We live in fear now, because nobody knows what to do with the presence of the animals here’’, she said. [eap_ad_1] She called on the state Ministry of Health to cause the owner of the ranch to relocate it as soon as possible to save the people.
“This should be a challenge to the State Government in view of the present Ebola challenge’’, she said.
Reacting to the situation, the Director of Epidemiology in the state Ministry of Health, Dr Sunny Omini, said they were aware of the ranch.
“We are aware of the ranch but it is not in wild area; it is in the inclusive area, so the monkeys there are not as harmful as those in the wild areas.
“However, we are monitoring the situation. We have not received any report from our Disease Surveillance Notification Officers (DSNOs) on any possible outbreak of Ebola’’, he said.
The Co-Director of the Drill Ranch, Mrs Liza Gadsby, said the monkeys in the ranch undergo laboratory tests.
“We screen our animals before admitting them. Moreover, all the animals here were born here so there has been no case of illness let alone of Ebola’’, she said.
According to her, “monkeys do not spread Ebola. Rather, fruit bats spread Ebola. Ignorance is the cause of panic among residents.’’ (NAN)