MANILA, Philippines—Tarsiers and forest birds might make for cute and cuddly pets, but they do not belong in a cage, Environment Secretary Ramon Paje warned during this week’s celebration of World Wildlife Day.
Looking at wildlife as objects for one’s personal pleasure defeats their important role in maintaining ecological balance and nature cycles, the environment official said.
“We should not look at them as our property, but part of God’s creation that we are meant to coexist with,” Paje said, adding that “wildlife is not really meant for our enjoyment especially when extracted [from their habitat].”
Paje also highlighted efforts by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to intensify its campaign to curb the illegal wildlife trade by tapping more partners in enforcing wildlife laws.
He cited recent seizures of illegally shipped wildlife in Palawan and Mindanao, including the back-to-back confiscation in Surigao City and General Santos City of almost 200 smuggled birds and other animals from Indonesia.
Paje and Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Theresa Mundita Lim launched a “manual of operations” for Wildlife Rescue Centers during the World Wildlife Day celebration early last week at Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City.
Among other information, the manual contains the protocol on animal acceptance, disease screening, the rehabilitation and disposition of animals, and the acceptance and handling of wildlife parts.