TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte, (PIA) —The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the region has released back to the forest area of Samar Island Natural Park, Paranas, Samar a Philippine eagle owl and two juvenile reticulated pythons.
The owl or “bukao” in local dialect is considered as vulnerable under threatened species. It is endemic in the Philippines and one of its habitat is the lowland forests of Samar Island. It feeds on insects, small mammals and birds.
DENR-8 regional director Leonardo Sibbaluca said the move is to reintroduce said animals back to their natural habitat.
“Conserving and protecting our wildlife will ensure that nature will still be around for our future generations to enjoy and cherish,” Sibbaluca added.
Maita Reina Sucgang, Chief of DENR’s Public Affairs Office said, prior to the release of the animals a corresponding veterinary health certificate was issued by the Veterinary Quarantine Station of the Bureau of Animal Industry to ensure that the animals are healthy and not carriers of any communicable disease.
Bukao is a nocturnal bird which rests on a tree during daylight and hunts for food at dusk while the reticulated pythons or “sawa” is a specie which is prevalent in the country and Samar is known to be their natural habitat.
It was learned that the pythons were captured by local residents in Tacloban in two separate incidents while the “bukao” was turned over to DENR by unidenfied person last year. (cba/ajc/with reports from DENR-8/PIA-8)