Locals rescue Philippine Deer in MacArthur, Leyte
“One of our responsibilities is to ensure that the future generations witness the wildlife species that we have today”.
Michael De Luis, Barangay Chairman of Lanawan, MacArthur, Leyte shares as he turns-over two (2) Philippine Deer (Rusa marianna) to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office of Palo.
According to Chairman De Luis, the Philippine Deer locally known as “bugsok” was rescued by members of Mamanwa Tribe sometime in May from an “awang”, a trapping pit used by locals in the upland to catch animals for their food.
“The barangay local government unit has been conducting information and environmental awareness campaigns for our community, so the people are somehow mindful of the laws protecting our wildlife”, Chairman De Luis said.
“When the Mamanwas came to me, they were briefed about the sanctions for killing and inflicting harm to these species specially those classified as endangered. Understanding our goal to protect the wildlife species in our area, the Mamanwas were also keen in turning over the Philippine deer to proper authorities for their safe release back to the wild”, he added.
Chairman De Luis said that the two Philippine Deer sustained wounds from falling into the trapping pit, so he kept them under his care until they were fit for travel to the Regional Wildlife Rescue Center in Palo.
Presently, the two Philippine Deer are cared for at the Rescue Center and will be released back to the wild as soon as they are found fit and healthy.
Meanwhile, Palo CENR Officer Crisostomo Badeo, Jr. lauded the efforts of the locals in protecting the region’s wildlife species. “The presence of the Philippine Deer in our forests is an indication that we still have an ecologically balanced ecosystem, thus the need for more intensified protection efforts from all of us”, CENRO Badeo said. “We are urging everyone to emulate what was done by Chairman De Luis and his community, and bear in mind that we all have responsibilities towards our environment. If you are in possession of any wildlife species, and if you see any wildlife species in danger, please contact the DENR office nearest you”, he added.
“We are encouraging everyone to take part in our campaigns and contribute to preserving our wildlife species and our environment. Let us always remember, ikaw, ako, tayo ang kalikasan”, DENR Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr. stressed.
The Philippine deer is classified as endangered under DENR Administrative Order 2019-09. Possession, killing, and inflicting harm to these species is punishable by Republic Act 9147, An Act Providing for the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats.