|THIRD BATCH OF PHILIPPINE WILDLIFE RETURNS HOME FROM HONG KONG|
|Thursday, 02 August 2012 17:19|
Strong coordination and partnership in wildlife protection and law enforcement between the Philippines and Hong Kong is again reaffirmed as the Philippines receives another batch of wildlife from Hong Kong through repatriation today, 01 August 2012. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau warmly welcomes the return of 19 Mindanao Water Monitor (Varanus cumingi), 39 Philippine forest turtles (Siebenrockiella leytensis), 46 Amboina box turtles or Southeast Asian box turtle (Cuora amboinensis) and one Reticulated python (Broghammerus reticulatus-Python reticulatus).
The animals were smuggled to Hong Kong by Zhang Wen Wei who flew from Hong Kong from Manila via Cebu Pacific Air, Flight 5J110 on 14 June 2012. They were discovered by the Hong Kong Customs and Excise Officers inside the checked-in baggage of Zhang, the same person who was responsible for the illegal importation of wild animals from the Philippines to Hong Kong in February 2012. The Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD), the Hong Kong’s CITES Management Authority pursued the case against Zhang, who was convicted and sentenced with a jail term of six weeks on 15 June 2012.
The Kadoorie Farm and Botanic Garden (KFBG), a non-government owned wildlife facility in Tai Po, Hong Kong took good care of the animals and handled all the necessary physical and on-site arrangements for their transport to the Philippines. The animals arrived via the Philippine Airlines, Flight PR 301 that landed at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport at around 1:30pm today.
The PAWB is turning over the 39 Philippine forest turtles to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), the agency that exercises management jurisdiction over all wildlife resources found in the Province of Palawan. The PAWB-managed National Wildlife Research and Rescue Center will take custody of the Mindanao water monitors, Southeast Asian box turtles and the Reticulated python. (Courtesy Photos of Pola Bumanglag and Emie T. Ramoso)