Manila, Philippines – Authorities from the Environmental Crime Division of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI-ECD) rescued P10 million-worth of endangered species from a home in San Gregorio Village, Pasay City.
Endangered and exotic species comprised most of the 3,000 species found at the home, according to a report on Tuesday by James Agustin of Super Radyo dzBB for Unang Balita.
Sugar gliders, three juvenile ostriches, two apparent kangaroos, and endangered birds — most of which came from Indonesia — including rainbow lorikeets, black capped lories; sulphur-crested, moluccan, and black palm cockatoos were among those rescued.
All animals, believed to be worth P10 million in total, were taken to the rescue center of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Quezon City for quarantine.
Rogelio Demelletes Jr. of the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau said the animals were not taken care of sufficiently. He also noted that the house they were found in had no permit to store such animals.
NBI-ECD Chief Atty. Czar Eric Nuqui said operatives caught the suspects in a buy-bust operation after an agent pretended to buy a black palm cockatoo for P100,000.
Arrested were homeowner Abraham Bernales and caretakers Joner Bawente, Nestor Turion, and Jose Sandigan.
Bernales asserted that he was merely keeping the animals for a friend, but his caretakers admitted that their boss sold birds for a living.
All four men will be charged with violation of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.