Endangered croc found dead along Pangi River-A A +A
Friday, May 23, 2014
THE carcass of a 4.6 feet long male Philippine freshwater croc estimated to be seven years old was found Friday morning along the Matina Pangi River at Purok 6-A in Barangay Matina Pangi, Davao City.
Davao Crocodile Park operations manager Philamer Medina, in an interview with Sun.Star Davao, said the endangered croc is believed to have been struck with an iron bar on its head and died of bleeding.
A caretaker of the Davao Crocodile Park Rey Alberto suspects that the person who struck the endangered animal may have mistaken the croc for a monitor lizard locally known as “bayawak.” Monitor lizards are eaten as food by locals.
Efren Tagorda of the DENR-Protected Area and Wildlife Division said they still do not know who killed the crocodile.
“Kung titingnan mo ang isang provision ng Republic Act (RA) 9147 (Wildlife Resources and Protection Act), pwedeng patayin ang endangered species kung in danger na ang tao, kunwari face-to-face na or kakagatin na. Kung walang threat sa tao at pinatay niya ang endangered species, pwedeng kasohan ang taong pumatay,” Tagorda said.
As stated in Chapter 5 of RA 9147, those found liable of killing endangered animals may be imprisoned for six to 12 years with a fine ranging from P100,000 to P1 million.
The remains of the croc are being preserved at the Davao Crocodile Park.
Medina said the officials of Barangay Matina Pangi could apply for a permit before the DENR if they want the remains of the croc to undergo taxidermy, so that they could display the preserved remains in the barangay hall.
There have been baby crocodiles fished off streams in the past but this is the first of this size. In February 2013, a two-foot long baby crocodile was fished off Agdao Creek in barangay San Antonio in Agdao.
In February this year, a one-foot long crocodile was caught along the waterways in Purok Francisco de Assisi in Barangay Matina Crossing.
Meanwhile, a tarsier and its young were turned over to the Davao Crocodile Park by the DENR-PAWD on Friday for caretaking.
Tagorda said the tarsiers were recovered from the barangay hall of Ilang in Tibungco, Davao City.
“Nakuha namin ang tarsier sa barangay hall around 10:30 to 11 a.m. Andun na daw yun around three to four days kasi di daw nila alam kung kanino itu-turnover. Pagdating namin dun, patay na ang isa and nadatnan namin na pinapakain nila ng saging,” Tagorda said.
When the DENR turned over the tarsiers to the Davao Crocodile Park, they were told that the tarsiers were already severely stressed and the caretakers will have to provide intensive care on the little primates.
“The animal is susceptible sa stress and among the major contributors of its stress is human contact. Pagdating nga namin kanina sa barangay hall, mukhang stressed and traumatized na masyado sila. Very sensitive din sila and pagtinamaan ng matinding light ang kanilang mata, nabubulag sila and sumasakit ang ulo nila,” Tagorda said.
Tagorda added that they have already recovered three tarsiers this year with two last April and one last March.
Davao Crocodile Park’s Medina said that even though they have been taking care of rescued wildlife, tarsiers are difficult to keep alive. Many have been endorsed to them through the years, but only two survived.
“We can only assure that we will be giving our best efforts to keep them alive. We will have to give them a continuous supply of food, water and multivitamins for two to three days. They are very sensitive to their environment that is why we should keep them healthy first before we transfer them with the two other tarsiers that we have,” Medina said.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on May 24, 2014.