An unemployed middle-aged man has been spotted on the streets of Abossey Okai, a spare parts hub in Accra, selling some wild animals he had conveyed there on the back of his bicycle.
The animals, caged and ready to be sold, are put on display by Solomon Dieudonne Ametepe, who told Ghana Web’s video journalist, Kwame Adzaho-Amenortor, that these are only a fraction of the several others he has on his land at Nsawam.
Narrating his story, Solomon explained that he had to bring out some of the animals to sell because he urgently needs money to pay the school fees of his children.
“I have a half piece plot of land at my village, Nsawam, full of animals that will scare you.
“Though the land was very cheap in 2007 when I bought it – GH¢200 a plot, there were animals on it that will scare you. So, I was able to gather courage for some time and I said, let me start taking care of them. At first, I managed to get a monkey and I tamed it to the extent of sending it on errands.
“Now, I have this one called potato, which behaves like a monkey, and then I have 2 Nile crocodiles; a male and a female, and the lifespan of these crocodiles can be 95-100 years, and so they are my pets now,” he said.
He also told the reporter that he grew to love taking care of the animals like it was a hobby.
He also explained that due to wildlife concerns, he has kept the animals always, while he works around getting the right authorisation so that he can operate his mini zoo in the future.
“I have animals there but because of Wildlife, I don’t want to bring them out, but I’m working on my papers, after which I will have my mini zoo and will have tamed animals in there that people can go and see,” he added.
Solomon Dieudonne Ametepe also explained that he once wanted to join the Ghana Armed Forces, but things did not go as planned.
He added that now, he has been able to learn about herbs and it is through this that he can support his family.
When quizzed about how business is like selling wild animals, he said “if I sell an animal to you, I make sure you are a wildlife advocate. I once sold a parrot that talks and can fly, to a chief in my village and he cut the feathers of the bird. For badly treating the animal, I paid back his money and went back for the animal.
“If you are not an animal lover, I won’t sell my animals to you. I have monkeys in the house which are not in cages because they are not harmful. I have Civet and Janet; cats, in the house. I have an animal in the house that behaves like a tiger, but it is tamed,” he explained.
The middle-aged man explained that since not getting an opportunity to become a soldier, he has learned kickboxing, Taekwondo, self- defense, which he teaches to schools.
He also stated that he once travelled to Dubai but has since returned to Ghana to settle.