|BUTAANS AND MONKEY, FREE AGAIN|
|Wednesday, 28 March 2012 15:17|
After more than six months of rehabilitation and care at the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau Wildlife Rescue Center (PAWB-WRC) and following habitat and animal health assessment protocols, among other pre-requisites, four butaans (Gray’s monitor lizard) and a long-tailed macaque found their true home again as they were released back to their natural habitat in Diteki River Watershed Forest Reserve, San Luis, Aurora. These endemic wild animals were released on 13 March 2012 at around 8:00 o’clock in the morning. Two of the released butaans were turned over by GMA 7-Born To be Wild to PAWB-WRC in August 2011; the other two were turned over by the Philippine National Police-Quezon City in October 2011. The lone monkey was turned over by a concerned citizen in February 2012.
The release of the animals was spearheaded by a team from the DENR-PAWB composed of Dr. Rizza Araceli Salinas, Ms. Lorie Salvador, Mr. Daryll Ballesteros and Dr. Esteven Toledo. The DENR-Region III, through the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office (PENRO) in Aurora co-organized the event. The local officials of Barangays Diteki and Ditumabo as well as teachers and students of Diteki Elementary School supported and witnessed the event. Upon release, the butaans and the monkey immediately scampered into the forest.
The release was succeeded by information and education campaigns (IEC) in communities within and near the release site to enhance local awareness on the importance of wildlife and solicit community support in the protection of the released animals and other wildlife resources in the said watershed.