Impact of Makurdi Zoological Garden and Manaterium on Conservation Education in Benue State
The impact of Makurdi Zoological garden on conservation education was elucidated from data collected by questionnaires, interviews, observations and review of stored records. Descriptive statistics (frequencies, percentages and tables) were used to analyse the data obtained. Out of 100 questionnaires administered, 90% and 9% of the respondents were students and teachers respectively. Electronic media (Radio and Television) and interactions with people who once visited the Zoological garden, were the main mode of education and information on the need to keep and maintain the Zoological garden for the purpose of ex-situ conservation. The Zoo was stocked with primates, birds, reptiles, carnivores and some rare ungulates. The Zoo reached its peak in 1991 with a visitors population of 14,844 and decline thereafter when funding was virtually withdrawn by the Government and animal population reduced drastically. This also affected the management and the attitude of the staff to work. At this point, the animals were at the receiving end and such animals as Hare, white nose monkey, Baboon, Rabbits, Crocodile, Manatee and Chimpanzee died.
Key words: Conservation, Education, Impact, Makurdi, Zoological Garden