Adaklu Lion Returns

A beast-like animal suspected to be a lion, which terrorized the people of Volta Region sometime ago, is said to have returned to the Adaklu forest, creating panic in the area. Reports reaching Daily Guide last Friday indicated that some residents of Adaklu had noticed fresh paw prints of the animal which made life unbearable for them about a year ago. According to the report, the prints had been noticed in various parts of the Adaklu forest. The new development, according to sources, had brought farming activities in the area almost to a halt, as residents were scared of encountering the animal in their farms or even homes. The fear had been heightened to the extent that people in the area were reported to be no longer willing to move out in singles, let alone attend the call of nature without being accompanied by their spouses or other relatives. In the case of Adaklu Workpe, a small farming settlement where their chief Togbe Dzamesi II was attacked by the suspected lion almost a year ago, pupils were unwilling to trek to their school which was at Kpogadzi, about 10 kilometers away from the village. Authorities at the Games and Wildlife Division however told DAILY GUIDE that the alleged paw prints of the lion were not real, adding that they were footprints of a monkey and urged the people to continue with their daily activities without fear. According to the officials, who spoke on anonymity, when the report of the return of the suspected lion reached them, they moved in but a careful study showed that they were not those of lions but monkeys. They explained that though the previous paw prints of the animal which stormed the area barely a year ago belonged to the cat family, they could not point out that they were those of a lion, emphasizing that those paw prints were far different from the fresh ones that had emerged. But the assurance from the experts seemed not to have convinced the natives who appealed to the wildlife authorities to take another critical look and study of the fresh paw prints before coming out with the assurance. It would be recalled that fear gripped the people of the Volta Region, especially the Adaklu area, following the activities of a carnivorous animal suspected to be lion. Initially, people took the whole story to be a hoax until Togbe Dzamesi II, chief of Adaklu Workpe, and his children encountered the fearful animal. Luck was however on the chief’s side when he overpowered the animal but not without some injuries that left him unconscious and in a very critical condition. Togbe Dzamesi was subsequently admitted to the Volta Regional Hospital for months, leading to the amputation of his left arm. He was later discharged. The attack on the man known in private life as Daniel Agbeda, provoked the people in the village and surrounding areas, who embarked on several days’ search for the fearful animal with assistance from the Ho Police which eventually yielded no results. While they were vigorously searching for the animal within their traditional boundary, the people of Abutia Kpota, Kissiflui and other areas also raised alarm of the presence of the animal in their territory. Though it did not attack any human there, it left clear paw prints and devoured several animals which made even the most doubting ones think twice. Staff of the Kalakpa Games and Wildlife at Abutia Kloe later confirmed that they also witnessed the activities of the animal which they said emerged from the reserve until it got to the main road where they were unable to trace the prints. While they were wondering how to trap the animal, the people of Akrofu and Juapong also raised alarm that the activities of the animal had reached their forests. The issue of the lion became a national concern and attracted the attention of the Vetting Committee of Parliament, resulting in the then deputy Minister designate for the Volta Region saying he would visit the attacked chief and see how far he could be used in attracting tourism to the area. But since then, nothing had been heard about the animal again until this latest report.