You can be jailed for keeping tigers, snakes... at home - Vet Service Department

Businessman, Nana Kwame Bediako, popularly known as Freedom Jacob Caesar may be jailed for six months and or fined if it is established that he has been keeping his two tigers without permit.

Freedom Jacob Caesar

The Western Region Director of the Veterinary Service Department, Dr. Simon Gbene, has disclosed that one needs a permit to keep such wild animals as tigers, snakes, lions, and others as pets.

According to 3news.com, he made the revelation on Connect FM’s Omanbapa morning show, saying that anyone who breaches the law can be fined, jailed for six months or both.

"Tigers are wild animals, and it is very dangerous to keep them as pets. They are capable of killing human beings. Anyone who wants to keep them must secure the needed permit, the person should have the needed training to keep them from causing harm to other persons. It is stated black and white in the laws that anyone who is found keeping tigers and other wild animals without permits can be fined or jailed for six months," Dr Gbene said, as quoted by the news website.

He urged people who know of or are living in the same community as others who keep such wild animals to file a complaint with the police.

"If you are living in a community and you see a neighbour keeping tigers or any other wild animals like snakes, lions etc. in their homes, immediately report them to the police. I will never advise anyone to keep tigers as pets because when they grow, they can be dangerous to even the owner."

He added that aside from the possibility of such wild animals hurting people, they could also pass on diseases.

Dr Gbene was reacting to concerns from residents of Wonder World Estates, owned by Freedom Jacob Caesar, that his two seven-month-old tigers had been terrorizing them.

Meanwhile, Freedom Jacob Caesar has reacted to the agitations of the residents of his estate, saying he bought the tigers to help boost Ghana's tourism industry, and not to endanger the lives of others.

His explanation not withstanding, the Western Region Director of the Wildlife Division of the Forestry Commission, Enock Ashie Amasa, said his outfit has taken notice of the development and would release an official statement on it soon.

The Accra regional police have also said that efforts are underway to remove the tigers from the community to ensure the safety of the residents.

In a statement on Thursday, May 19, the police said they have received a complaint and are liaising with the Ghana Wildlife Society to remove the tigers from the residential area to a more appropriate place.

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