City of San Fernando—Environmental and police authorities rescued Tuesday 3 wild birds while in captivity at a residential compound of a suspected wildlife poacher following raid at Barangay Pasong Callos, San Rafael, Bulacan.
Arnold Santos, who claimed ownership of the wild birds including two Crested Serpent Eagles and a white Waterhen, was arrested, and placed under police custody, said Dennis Vergara, head of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office stationed in Baliuag City.
Vergara said the rescue of wild birds was a result of heightened campaign by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) against wildlife poachers in its bid to preserve and save the remaining biodiversity in Central Luzon.
He said a resident in the community called his office asking for assistance to rescue wild birds under captivity by an enterprising person. The birds will be sold apparently to enthusiasts from Metro Manila.
CENRO Vergara quickly coordinated with the local police in Baliuag City for the rescue operations. The raiding team found two raptors and a wild hen being kept inside Santos residential compound.
During investigation, Vergara said the suspect admitted he owned the wild birds but failed to show documents or permit from the DENR.
“Charges have been filed in court against the suspect the suspect for violating Republic Act (RA) No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.” said Vergara.
He said that mere possession or collection of wild birds of any species is unlawful and punishable under the law. Wild birds collectors must secure permit from DENR.
CENRO Vergara urged residents in the community to report to the nearest DENR office any illegal wildlife trade and online selling.
The rescued wild birds are now under the custody of the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) in Quezon City to undergo care and treatment before it will be released back to an area where they belong.
The White-Breasted Waterhen has been released in the forested areas of Bulacan since it was in a pink of health.