Ibadan, the capital of Oyo state, is the third-largest city in Nigeria after Lagos and Kano. The city is popularly known for its rich and fascinating history, culture and amazing tourist destinations. One of the most visited tourist destinations in Ibadan is the University of Ibadan Zoological Garden which was established in 1948. It is home to a wide array of animals comprising mammals, birds, reptiles and amphibians.
On a fateful day in 1991, visitors stormed the University of Ibadan zoo, as usual, to see the animals and enjoy the serene environment it provides. Of all the animals in the zoo, lions attract the highest number of visitors. It is said that a visit to the UI zoo without seeing the lions is incomplete.
As aforementioned, on that day, everybody was at the zoo to have a nice time seeing the animals except a man, a bold and daring prophet named Daniel Abodunrin who was on a different mission. The prophet wanted to show people the “work of God of Daniel” by walking right into the lions’ cage to pet them like Daniel did in the bible without getting mauled.
Prophet Daniel Abodunrin’s intention was to recreate the biblical story of Daniel who out of envy was thrown to lions that have been mysteriously tamed by God. The biblical story has it that God sent down angels to shut the mouths of the lions.
A determined Prophet Daniel Abodunrin walked up to some staff members of the zoo and requested to gain entry into the lions’ cage. No one in his/her right senses will grant such a request, so the prophet was turned down, but after much disturbance and persuasion, the prophet’s insane wish was granted. Another account has it that he sneaked into the lions’ cage without the staff’s consent. Whether he sneaked in or not, one thing is certain, the prophet found his way into the cage.
Those at the scene could not believe their eyes. Realizing it was not a dream, they prepared their mind for the worst. Prophet Daniel Abodunrin was clothed in a red robe and had a big Bible under his armpit. As he entered the lions’ cage, he began to recite Bible verses and speak in tongues.
We gathered that he called unto the “God of Daniel” to perform wonders. He was shouting “Jah, Jah, Jah”, a shortened form of Jehovah. At first, the lions retreated to a corner of their cage. Unknown to the prophet, Lions are likely to retreat at first when they see something unusual in their territory and later, they get rid of it.
Prophet Daniel Abodunrin thought his faith was really working; that the God of Daniel was performing wonders. He then moved nearer to the lions as he kept chanting bible verses. Then in a flash, the lions pounced on the bemused, confused and horrified prophet. A cold stream of shock ran down the spines of the terrified onlookers.
Prophet Daniel Abodunrin battled for his dear life but his strength was no match for the hefty lions and in a moment, he was torn apart and eaten. His bloody red robe laid in shreds and his bible which he had flung away at the beginning of the attack was covered in dust.
People took to their heels after seeing such a horrible sight they will never forget for the rest of their lives. The prophet’s remains were collected and later buried. That was how Prophet Daniel Abodunrin met his bitter and horrible end.
Many people condemned the prophet for his silly action while others believed the lions were possessed by demons stronger than the prophet and demanded that they should be killed. What do you think?
Thanks for reading.
UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN ZOOLOGICAL GARDEN. (n.d.). UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN. https://www.ui.edu.ng/UIZoologygarden