DENR warns to prosecute illegal monkey keepers

DENR Warns to Prosecute Illegal Monkey Keepers

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 In merely hours, a public plea of a concerned citizen on Facebook went viral. Ric, not his real name, posted to the Facebook pages of various animal welfare groups photos of a seemingly ill-treated monkey caged within the compound of St. Gregory Parish in Indang, Cavite.

 On August 22, 2018, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON Facebook page was flooded with messages from netizens, relaying Ric’s appeal and requesting that the “forgotten monkey” be rescued.

 Immediately, some personnel from the DENR-Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO), Cavite rushed to the monkey’s location to investigate. The investigating team found out that a private individual intentionally brought the reported animal to the Parish Priest, Rev. Fr. Alex P. Tupas, 2 years ago for custody and safe keeping.

 Elegia Tulio, the Chief, Compliance Monitoring Unit of PENRO, Cavite said the monkey was surrendered to Tupas as its previous keeper was about to go back to his province in Mindanao.

 “As per observation, the monkey is healthy and playful. Traces are present in her waist because of the improvised belt made of plastic hose and chain,” Tulio said. “The monkey was properly cared and well-maintained including the facility, contradictory to the post…in social media,” she added.

 In his posts, Ric alleged that the monkey has nothing to eat whenever the church closes.

 The monkey, identified as Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis), is a wild animal which belongs to the category “Other Threatened Species” as per DENR Administrative Order No. 2004-15, and “Least Concern” based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species.

 The wildlife also falls within the category Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), indicating that the species is “not necessarily threatened with extinction, but in which trade must be controlled in order to avoid utilization incompatible with their survival”.

 Tupas agreed to voluntarily surrender the monkey to the DENR CALABARZON Wildlife Rescue Center. The turnover was scheduled on August 29, 2018.

 DENR CALABARZON Director, Atty. Maria Paz G. Luna strongly discourages the keeping of monkeys, saying that their release would be too dangerous.

 “We will start prosecuting those who keep them,” Luna said as a warning to those who are still keeping or are planning to keep monkeys without necessary permits.

 With the circulating issue, she said “our take there is we are for wildlife conservation.”

 “We will work with private keepers of endangered and critically endangered animals so there is technology transfer to us, and so we can work with them on release programs to help conservation,” she said, sharing the department’s future plans.

 “Zoos can be useful in that way, instead of encouraging others to keep pets and showcase animals they cannot care for properly, the message from zoos should be to conserve ex situ [protect animals outside its natural habitat] so that we can repopulate protected habitats,” she stressed.###

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DENR Calabarzon, on alert for Ompong

       

          Power outage and water disruption. These are the expected consequences of the onslaught of Typhoon Ompong, estimated to make a landfall on the northern portion of the Philippine islands in less than 24 hours.

          In preparation, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) CALABARZON (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) is calling for volunteers to help.

          DENR Calabarzon Assistant Director for Technical Services, Arturo E. Fadriquela said the plan is to prepare their field personnel for two packaged services. The first package is to provide chainsaws with skilled operators and porters, and the second one is to deliver fully-charged generator sets.

          Fadriquela, the designated captain for the relief and rescue operations, said they will be in close coordination with the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (RDRRMC) should their services be needed.

         “Kapag ang hiningi sa atin ay tumulong sa clearing ng area, ang gagawin lang pagpasok sa kalsada, may nakaharang (na puno) itabi, putol, itabi… Wala nang retrieval ‘yon, saka na ‘yon kasi mabilisan ‘yon e. Kailangan kasi ma-clear ‘yung daan para makapasok ang serbisyo, pagkain, tubig,” Fadriquela said.

          He also said they are looking into the possibility of providing go bags to the affected communities, and warm bodies to be of aid in other services. “Kung hindi naman apektado, maging available din ang mga tao natin kung saka-sakaling i-deploy sa mga repacking,” the assistant regional director said.

          “We would like to have an inventory of standby generators and water tanks that people can lend and we can mobilize in areas of greatest need so we are calling on people to let us know if they have one we can borrow” added DENR Calabarzon Director, Atty. Maria Paz G. Luna.

          With regard to the potential garbage accumulation, Luna said “we aim to have as close to a zero waste operation as possible because trash mounds in disaster areas turn into breeding places of pests and germs”.

          The relief and rescue operations are part of the Tayo ang Kalikasan program of the department.

          Willing volunteers may contact the DENR regional office through hotline numbers 09202068610 and 09553912684, email address This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or Facebook page @denr4aofficial.

          The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAG-ASA) has raised public storm warning signal no. 1 for the entire region.

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