A British tourist, who regularly visits The Gambia, has expressed disappointment over the destruction of the Monkey Park in Bijilo.
Brent Peeters said the country cannot become the next sought after destination in Sub Saharan Africa if the government continues depleting resources and destroying the environment.
The destruction of the famous park, which generated a lot of outrage among conservationists, paved way for the construction of a conference centre, which will host the next Islamic Cooperation Summit in 2019.
“From my own point of view, the monkey park is unique and a new conference center can't replace this,” said Brent.
He added: “The government should keep this unique piece of nature. It's the only one among the coastline in The Gambia at walking distance from the tourist zone, so the barrier to visit is extremely low.
“It receives 23,000 visitors a year. There's the bird observatory in Kotu but children and tourists want monkeys and other wildlife. I know a conference centre gives employment but at the end which tourist attractions will stay? Only sun and beach?”
Meanwhile, over 3000 people have signed an online petition calling on the government not to destroy the park.
The petition hosted by Change.org also calls on President Adama Barrow to protect the nation’s environment.
“The lives you are set to kill and the plants to be destroyed are members of our society and if man claims dominion on earth, it becomes a divine responsibility to protect all life forms. We disagree with your quest to destroy nature and we request for a re-think Mr. President,” the petition reads.