From EXOTIC to EXTINCT
In October 2007, more than 200 tarantulas and scorpions from South America were shipped to the Philippines. The microwaveable plastic containers carrying the animals were intercepted by customs officials at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Some had already died of asphyxiation, while the rest were sent to the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City, according to a 2007 Philippine Star article by Rudy Santos. In February 2014, almost 100 exotic animals from Indonesia and Australia were confiscated off the water of Mindanao. These included wild birds and vulnerable or critically endangered species. The week before, wildlife officers had seized 100 similar animals in a van in Manila.
More than ten years since the incident in 2007, around 300 animals from Australia, Indonesia, and Papua New Guinea were saved from the Philippine exotic pet trade in March of last year. The list of smuggled species included sugar gliders, wallabies, red birds of paradise, and Moluccan cockatoos -- the last being an endangered species. These animals were all found in a house in Pasay City, according to a 2018 Agence France-presse (AFP) article published online by Rappler.
Smuggled endangered species (including these cockatoos) were rescued from Pasay. (Photo from gmanetwork.com)
Several tarantulas and scorpions stuffed in baggage were intercepted at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport