Bat hunt ends in teen’s death

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Saturday, March 23, 2013


A 16-YEAR-OLD boy fell to his death while hunting bats in the uplands of Tabuelan, Cebu at dawn yesterday.

Bryan Ere suffered fractures and severe injuries after he plunged into the 200-meter-deep Himaroto Cave.

The rescue team had a hard time entering the cave and took 12 hours to retrieve Ere’s body.

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Insp. Roberto Hugo, the town’s police chief, said the accident happened past 5 a.m.

The victim was hunting bats, locally known as “kwaknit,” with his father Elmer and uncle.

Fatal fall

The first-year high school student stepped on coconut fronds that were at the mouth of the cave. “Nasangit siya sa tunga-tunga dapit (He got stuck in the middle and fell),” Hugo told Sun.Star Cebu.

The boy’s father and uncle immediately went to the police station, but they didn’t get there until 6 a.m.

The cave is in the boundary of Barangays Kantubaon and Kanluhangon.

Police tapped the help of firefighters in Tabuelan and Danao City.

They were only able to retrieve Ere’s body using a harness at 4:45 p.m.

Elmer, 43, told police they had caught 30 bats last Thursday afternoon and had gone home that night.

“Kusog sila mangaon ani kay daghan mani didto (The people in the area regularly eat bats since these are common there),” Hugo said.

‘Overly confident’

At 12:30 a.m., the trio went back to the cave to wait for the bats to return home.

“Ila rang bunalan ang mga kwaknit kung motugpa ni sa mga bato (They would strike the bats when these landed on the rocks),” Hugo said.

“Apparently, the victim was overly confident since they catch bats often and that was when the accident happened,” Hugo said in Cebuano.

Because of Ere’s death, Mayor Rex Gerona wants the cave to be fenced off to avoid a similar incident, even though several signs that warn of danger are installed nearby.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 23, 2013.

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