Neighbours in Ghana’s Capital Demand Removal of Pet Tigers Despite Court Order

In an ongoing dispute in Ghana’s capital, Accra, a businessman named Nana Kwame Bediako has come under fire for keeping two pet tigers in his property. Despite a court ordering their removal, the tigers remain confined in a cage, causing distress to the neighbouring community. The tigers were imported as cubs from Dubai last year, with Bediako hoping to generate excitement about non-native wildlife. However, his unimpressed neighbours took legal action, stating that they feel unsafe and terrified in the presence of the wild cats.

Bediako claims to have followed the correct process and took measures to ensure public safety. He brought in experts to construct a safety cage for the tigers, emphasizing that this would prevent any harm to society. He believes that the presence of the tigers is an achievement, particularly as Africa has a limited population of tigers, let alone the rare white tigers. Bediako keeps the tigers enclosed in a pen within a gated compound, along with five other houses, in an upmarket area of Accra.

Pamela Agba and her family reside on the same estate as Bediako and share a garden with him. Agba’s decision to take the matter to court sparked significant interest in the country. She alleges that the tigers not only pose a danger but also create noise and emit a horrible stench. In November last year, the court sided with the Agba family and ordered the Forestry Commission, responsible for wildlife, to remove the tigers within three days.

However, the Forestry Commission, citing the need for an alternative enclosure, has failed to remove the tigers. Mr Bediako explained that it has taken months to build a new enclosure in a different part of Accra, away from residential areas, to ensure the tigers’ safety. He has requested an additional month from the Forestry Commission to complete the shelter.

The Agba family returned to court last month, accusing the head of the Forestry Commission of contempt and demanding his arrest. The court has issued a warrant, but it has not been carried out yet. The commission’s lawyer stated that their delay in removing the tigers may be due to the fact that they lack the necessary expertise to handle such dangerous animals.

Meanwhile, Bediako maintains that the tigers are harmless and asserts that none of the other residents in the apartment complex have complained. However, Agba’s lawyer claims that some residents have moved out due to the presence of the tigers. Agba expressed her frustration, stating that she is tired of seeing the tigers every time she opens her window.

This ongoing dispute raises concerns about the appropriate management and regulation of exotic pets. Keeping potentially dangerous animals in residential areas can pose risks to both humans and animals. Adequate expertise and facilities should be available to ensure the safety and well-being of both the public and wildlife.