The University of Ibadan has once again shown its pride of place as the Premier University in Nigeria as it allocates 3.5acres of land for pangolin conservation and research in the country.

This is a huge step in the right direction for pangolins and other endangered species conservation in Nigeria, experts say.

When fully built, it will serve as a rehabilitation center for pangolins and a hub for conservation, research, and education.

It will be a haven of education for school children, a research hub for higher institutions of learning and it would create a reservoir for wildlife populations against extinction in the wild.

Wildlife experts noted that the center will promote conservation, education, and tourism.

The land was approved by Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, Vice-Chancellor, UI, and handed over to Olajumoke Morenikeji, a Professor at the University of Ibadan, and also the chair of the Pangolin Conservation Guild Nigeria (PCWGN).

The allocation places the University of Ibadan as the first higher institution of learning to address pangolin conservation in the country.

Professor Morenikeji expressed gratitude to the Vice-Chancellor while describing him as a high achiever who has given the University quality leadership that has greatly lifted the institution.

“In his five years of leadership, he has made notable landmark changes to the University. Prof Olayinka will be leaving a great legacy behind as he has done a lot in improving teaching, learning, research, and innovation,” she said.

The need to actively and aggressively conserve the pangolins stems from the fact that it is the most illegally trafficked mammal in the world.

This is due to the increasing demand for their meat, which is eaten as a luxury dish in some parts of the world, and their scales and other body parts that are used in many traditional medicines.