The already endangered black-mane lions with just a thousand living in the wild, the Ethiopian national symbol along with some 300 elephants are in danger, after a strip of their sanctuary’s forest was cut down.
Unfortunately, after all business is always over people and climate. The government, which is supposed to shelter these species, has granted 10,000 hectares of the forest land for clearing to a Munich-based German bio-diesel producer – Flora EcoPower Holding AG.
Adjacent to the Babile Elephant Sanctuary located 560 km (350 miles) east of Addis Ababa, the land was cleared from a conservation area at Midiga Tola, according to Ethiopian Wildlife Association President Yirmed Demeke.
The company has continued to clear the forested land without any concern for the wild animals threatened by the destruction of an internationally recognised conservation area.
But, the company claims that they are not touching ‘one’ area where there are elephants, justifying their work being confined to 30 km away from the elephants.
The kicked-up controversy seems to prevail as the wildlife experts visiting the forest protested against the regional and federal governments. According to them, the company had not conducted the required ‘legal environmental impact assessment’ before mowing the forest down.
Whoever wins over the logic and legal fights, the forest’s rare wildlife are always at the gunpoint.