Fashion, Firewood & Falling Wildlife Populations: Season 3 of ‘Go Wild’ Series Zeroes in on Nigeria’s Most Pressing Conservation Issues
If you’re a ARISE News follower, you might have caught previous seasons of ‘Go Wild’, the channel’s wildlife series on The Morning Show, hosted by award-winning environmental correspondent Laila Johnson-Salami. In the first season, airing in October 2021, viewers journeyed with Laila to track the story of gorillas in Nigeria’s southern Cross River State, discovered how sea turtles are being poached in Lagos, uncovered hidden elements of the illegal wildlife trade, tracked the development of Nigeria’s wildlife laws and learned about species like elephants, lions and chimpanzees. In the second season, they observed the inner world of pangolin scale trafficking, became well versed on the plight of vultures in West Africa, were exposed to the illegal rosewood trade, and travelled across Nigeria with their host to talk to those on the front lines of habitat loss, agricultural expansion and poaching.
Go Wild Season 3 premieres on August 20, 2023, and airs each Sunday for 12 weeks on The Morning Show (8 a.m. – 10 a.m. West Africa Time). You can also catch it on DStv Channel 416, GOTv Channel 44, Sky Channel 516 (UK), or stream it online @https://www.arise.tv/ or on YouTube. The season promises to go deeper than both its predecessors into the reality of wildlife and wild spaces in Nigeria, exposing truth however challenging or uncomfortable, and empowering viewers with the knowledge required to act. Laila explains,
“We’re evolving from past stories to new, often unsettling ones that delve into the intricate beauty of our wildlife while inspiring a shared responsibility for the preservation of these invaluable habitats. To me, ‘Go Wild’ is more than just a series now, but a call to embrace our role as guardians of Nigeria’s biodiversity, confronting the harsh realities of conservation and shaping a more balanced future for all.”
Viewers will venture with Laila into the Omo Forest, in Southwestern Nigeria, to learn how elephants in this unique habitat could be saved, and about the unsustainable practice of logging that threatens them. They’ll encounter unique snake species with a surprise celebrity and Wild Africa Fund Ambassador, identify the drivers of falling lion populations, and unearth the secrets behind both the online wildlife trade and Nigeria’s fashion industry. In select episodes, Dr Mark Ofua, a veterinarian, conservationist and spokesperson for Wild Africa Fund in Nigeria, joins The Morning Show to discuss the topics at hand, and provides additional information and context that enriches viewers’ understanding.
The need for shows like Go Wild is urgent and significant as Nigeria’s wildlife reaches a critical threshold. According to The Wildlife Justice Commission, the country has been linked to 55% of global pangolin scale seizures between 2016 and 2019 and conservationists estimate that there are fewer than 400 elephants, not even 100 Cross River gorillas, and about 50 lions that remain in Nigeria. The bushmeat trade thrives, catering to urban residents who believe bushmeat has superior taste and aligns with their cultural traditions, while remaining unaware of the laws that prohibit trade in protected species or the impacts of their actions on wild species and ecosystems. The commercial bushmeat trade overlaps with illegal wildlife trade networks, fuelling wildlife trafficking of protected species like elephants and pangolins.
‘Go Wild’ Season 3 represents an opportunity to inform viewers and equip them with the knowledge they need to change the story of conservation in Nigeria, West Africa and, indeed, the continent. #JoinTheHerd by watching it and learning what you can do to be part of a different story for wildlife and wild spaces.