SURIGAO CITY (MindaNews/16 February) – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here intercepted on Saturday dawn a vehicle carrying exotic wildlife species from Indonesia, as it was about to board the ferry to Liloan in Southern Leyte, en route to Manla.
Zaldy C. Perater, officer-in-charge of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office said the illegal cargo was loaded in Alabel, Sarangani on board a Toyota Hi-Ace Vehicle with plate number WYI 97. The van was about to board the M/V Vanessa bound for Liloan when intercepted.
[caption id="attachment_53272" align="alignleft" width="330"] One of four heads of wallaby from Indonesia seized at the Lipata Port in Surigao City from a van from Alabel, Sarangani that was about to board the ferry bound for Liloan in Southern Leyte, en route to Manila. Photo courtesy of Natz Corbeta[/caption]
It contained four heads of crested cockatoo; two heads of black palm cockatoo; one head black pique; 56 heads of violet-necked lory; 29 heads of amazon lory; three heads of anteater and four heads of wallaby. It is not clear if these are the type of wallabies found in an Indonesian forest in 2010 and believed to be the smallest member of the kangaroo family documented in the world.
DENR personnel also discovered two dead birds: one black caique and one amazon lory.
Jecy Del Rosario, the driver of the vehicle and his companion, Bili L. Santipan said the wildlife was loaded in their vehicle in the morning of February 13, 2014 in Barangay Maribulan, Alabel, Sarangani province.
[caption id="attachment_53271" align="alignleft" width="640"] This bird from Indonesia is just one of dozens seized at Lipata Port in Surigao City Saturday dawn, February 15, 2014. Personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources personnel load these caged birds at the back of a pick up car bound for the Animal Center in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. MindaNews photo by Roel N. Catoto[/caption]
The wildlife shipment is allegedly owned by Tarciana D. Ejorja, Emie D. Loling, Gerson Barrios, and Jenny Perez.
Perater said the illegal cargo from Indonesia were transported via the “backdoor.” There are several Indonesian islands near the General Santos – Sarangani area through the Celebes Sea.
He said the illegal cargo would have fetched a high price in Manila.
Perater said his personnel reported that the animals’ cages were concealed with baggage and other stuff.
He acknowledged his office received a tip from Nonito Tamayo, regional director of DENR-Caraga that a van from General Santos was transporting the wildlife through Lipata Port.
He said the Port Police, PNP-Surigao City, Coast Guard and PNP Maritime jointly conducted surveillance of the vehicle which led to the seizure.
Perater told MindaNews that the seized wildlife species would be turned over to the Animal Center in Kitcharao, Agusan del Norte. (Roel N. Catoto / MindaNews)