THE DEPARTMENT of Environment and Natural Resources-Davao (DENR-11) regional office and the Indonesian Consulate are planning the return of poached birds and other animals that were confiscated in the coastal city of Mati, Davao Oriental last April. DENR-11, in a statement, said they met last week with the Indonesian group led by Davao City-based Consul Henny Mulyani to discuss the “possible repatriation” of the wildlife species that come mostly from Indonesia. If it pushes through, DENR said, “it will be the first in the region and the Philippines to return rescued wildlife species (to) its country of origin.”
There were 447 animals confiscated during the raid, which could be worth thousands of pesos when sold in the black market. Among the identified species were Black Palm Cockatoos, wallabies and Echidna. DENR said most of the recovered species are categorized as endangered based on the Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). The raid was carried out by Task Force POGI (Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade) composed of representatives from the DENR, National Bureau of Investigation, police, and the army. The two caretakers who have been looking after the animals for about a week before the raid were arrested.