Park owners given deadline to submit required permits-A A +A
Friday, March 8, 2013
OWNERS of BG Rainforest Park in Barangay Mabolo, Cebu City received a final notice to submit an action plan and legal documents for its various animals.
“They were told to submit an action plan that would include corrective measures, for the adequate protection, maintenance and management of the animals in the park,” said Eddie Llamedo, Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 information officer.
Butch and Bon Carlo Guillen of BG Rainforest Park attended a technical meeting at the DENR 7 office last March 5 where allegations of improper treatment of animals and the presence of endangered species in the park were brought up.
They were joined by Protected Areas, Wildlife, and Coastal Zone Management Services 7 Technical Director Dr. Al O. Orolfo; Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau division chief Jose Layese Jr.; Biodiversity and Wildlife Management section chief Ariel Rica; and biologists Lorenz Gideon Esmero and Jewelyn Baltazar.
Llamedo said the Guillens have until April 8 to also submit a wildlife farm permit and a certificate of wildlife registration.
He said DENR 7 inspectors found an iguana that looked malnourished and an owl in a cage that is open for viewing, which is deemed inappropriate because the animal is not adequately protected.
The park also has 10 tarsiers, which are considered endangered.
He said keeping tarsiers requires proof of registration under Republic Act 9147, or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
He said this is applicable to each animal species at the park.
Based on the inventory conducted last Nov. 12 by Esmero, Baltazar and Rica, the park is home to 104 species, which includes 15 various species of mammals, 16 reptiles and 73 birds species.
The DENR 7 inspecting team also said 24 of the 34 wildlife fauna in the park are considered threatened species. Of the 24, five are critically endangered, 17 are endangered and two are listed as vulnerable.
Tara Guillen, BG Rainforest Park vice president for marketing, said they referred the matter to their lawyers, adding that they have no statement for the media.
The park will also release five juvenile marine turtles by March 9. The turtles, Orolfo said, are classified as critically endangered.
“Mr. Butch Guillen of BG Rainforest Park has committed to fully comply with the legal requirements and other corrective measures related to the care and maintenance of the wildlife and the improvement of their facility and they are willing to cooperate with us,” said DENR 7 Technical Director Dr. Isabelo Montejo in a statement.
According to Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Director Theresa Mundita Lim, Philippine Animal Welfare Society president Anna Cabrera, a concerned citizen, reported last October that the park “is keeping wild animals that have no papers, are sickly, have external parasites and are not provided with appropriate enclosures.”
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 08, 2013.