The reason why-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
LOLONG is dead. And you would be too if you'd endured two year's solitary confinement in a bath hardly larger than yourself. And if you were looking forward to a lifetime's more of the same and, as seen on GMA's Monday evening news, being prodded with sticks to make you lunge and roar.
Vet Roberto Puentespina opined that it's common for captured crocodiles to die, unnecessarily adding, especially if these are from the wild. Well, Roberto, I'd have thought all captured crocodiles are "from the wild" and they die from a broken heart. Pining for the endless swamps and estuaries, pining for crocodile companionship and yet we humans, we supposedly civilized folks, thinking it'll make us a buck or two, hunt and capture crocs -- the ironically named Palawan Rescue and Conservation Center is good at this -- to live out their days in concrete ponds hardly larger than themselves.
No doubt Bunawan in Davao del Sur will go after another croc to fill their at-the-moment idle pond and oh, did I mention, an absence of crocodile means no turnstile clicking and no pesos dropping into the council coffers.
We're a bunch of hypocrites aren't we? Look at the folderol we make of turtles hatching on the local beaches. Local worthies queuing up to get in the photo, such a joy to liberate the little fellows into their natural environment, and then look around at the resorts and "parks" with turtle cousins stagnating in miserable concrete pens.
And look at this: Bunawan have the nerve to call their animal prison a "eco-tourism park." Surely eco-tourism is all about observing wildlife from a hide or elevated walkways in the trees, not prodding them with sticks in concrete ponds -- sorry, "custom-built habitats."
But what can we expect from a nation which keeps the family dogs in cages hardly larger than the animals themselves?
Tuesday evening on GMA's early evening news brought an extended Lolong segment -- they're doing these milk-the-topic-all-you-can segments more and more these days; one evening last week I thought I'd tuned into the Ronald dela Rosa show, but I'll admit to not paying much attention after catching a glimpse of, apparently, the mayor of Bunawan embracing Lolong's cadaver closely followed by the caretaker, he of the prodding stick.
In a state of shock from seeing grown men nuzzling up to a croc corpse nor did I pay much attention to GMA reporter Jean Paul, it was dark, in the background the crocotopsy was under way, a tough crew slicing into Lolong's equally tough underbelly, but why was Jean Paul whispering in his best funeral parlor voice?
It's a croc Jean Paul and far from reverentially whispering you should have been shouting out loud, damning the people who saw fit, who thought it was a good idea to take away Lolong from the miles and miles of his natural habitat and imprison him in a tiny concrete pond.
The reason why became apparent on Wednesday, apparently a live Lolong was bringing in some P20,000 per DAY in turnstile admittance fees and that's what everything boils down to in the Philippines. Money.
Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on February 15, 2013.