Twenty Philippine pangolins, snatched by poachers to sell on the black market, were released back into the wild on Saturday. Thanks to the collective effort of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) enforcement team, the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National River and the Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Conservation Center.
It was January 25 when the suspect behind this wildlife crime, a 33-year-old man named Wilter Tenorio, was finally arrested. Reports say that law enforcement authorities of CENRO Taytay have been monitoring him for four days after the man was seen suspiciously trying to sell the pangolins he has hidden in wooden crates. The suspect is facing charges in violation of the Republic Act 9147 known as the “Wildlife Act.”
The Philippine pangolins were considered as an endemic species in the province. Just recently it was reclassified in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species as “Critically Endangered,” the last category before a wild vanish completely in the wild. They are considered as the world’s most trafficked animal. Illegal traders sell their scales for traditional medicine and meat are considered a delicacy in some parts of Asia and Africa.
Text and photos by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development