From EX­OTIC to EX­TINCT

Animal Scene - - ADVOCATE -

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

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