Apparently active and in good health, the tarsier found at the Manila Golf Club in Makati City will to be flown to Bohol this week, where it will be placed in a semicaptive environment, according to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB).
PAWB director Theresa Mundita Lim said the tiny primate, which was found perched on the branch of a tamarind tree at the golf course located inside the posh Forbes Park, was showing no sign of stress and was eating well.
“It’s active at night and it’s eating. At first they just fed it insects that they caught outside, like crickets. But they now feed it mealworm to ensure it’s hygienic,” Lim told the Inquirer.
She said the tarsier was shy and did not appear to be used to human handlers. “This is a good sign because it means it probably was not in the company of humans for long,” she said.
This increases the viability of reintroducing the tarsier into the wild. Lim said they would take a DNA sample to check first if it was really a Philippine tarsier, although its characteristics were similar to the Bohol species.
Lim said the tarsier would be temporarily placed in a “semicaptive” environment while they study its chances of surviving if reintroduced to its natural habitat.
She said Metro Manila police were still investigating how the creature found its way to the Makati golf course. She earlier said the owner, once found, would be charged with illegal possession of an endangered species under the Wildlife Act.
There are no registered owners of tarsier in Metro Manila, but there are some from Bohol.