This should serve as a reminder that any wildlife deserves to be left alone in the wild because this is where they belong. Unless one has secured the necessary permits, having custody of any wildlife is a violation of R.A. 9147 otherwise known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act”, says Tirso P. Parian, Jr., Regional Executive Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region 8.

Such was the statement of RED Parian after a Philippine Long-tailed Macaque (Macaca fascicularis philippensis) was rescued by personnel of the DENR after it got away from its owner at Brgy 59-A, in Tacloban City. Thereafter, a family member reported to the barangay officials that the said monkey invaded their home and ransacked their refrigerator, prompting them, including their minor children, to lock themselves in a room in fear.

The rescued Philippine Long-tailed Macaque which was assessed to be a sub-adult is a subspecies of the crab-eating macaque that is commonly known as matsing or the more general term of unggoy.  It was already very aggressive which may have been aggravated because of a wound on his belly that was punctured by the wire used to tie the monkey.

It was then brought to the Regional Wildlife Rescue Center at PENRO-Leyte for assessment and rehabilitation. “Unfortunately, most rescued monkeys are no longer released back to the wild because they are normally not accepted by other monkey troops and are instead attacked and killed. Even if released, it will have to undergo extensive rehabilitation and preparation”, says Ms. Gimelina Lodevico, Zoology Technician of the Conservation and Development Division (CDD) of DENR-RO8.

Sections 27 and 28 of R.A. 9147 or the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act,” prohibits the injuring, killing, collection and trading of wildlife. Any violation thereof is punishable with a fine of as low as Php1,000.00 to as high as Php5,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment of 1 month to as long as twelve years, depending on the classification and status of the wildlife.