Another rescued tarsier dies
MANILA, Philippines—Another tarsier that was found in Quezon City and rescued by the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) has died.
PAWB Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim said in an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM that the tarsier was found inside a baggage at a bus terminal in Project 4, Quezon City Tuesday.
The owner of the baggage however did not come forward, she said, adding it was likely that the endangered animal was going to be taken in as a pet.
Last June 22, Metro Manilans were baffled when the first trafficked tarsier was found perched on a tamarind tree in the exclusive Manila Golf and Country Club in Makati City. It, too, was rescued by PAWB but died five days later.
Lim said the latest tarsier was not eating as eagerly as the first one.
Josefina De Leon, chief of the Wildlife Resources Division, said in a separate phone interview that the tarsier died Thursday. The cause of death could not yet be determined.
The Philippine tarsier (Tarsius syrichta) is an endangered species endemic to the country. It is illegal to take them from the wild, Lim said.
Those found guilty could face imprisonment of up to five years and a fine of up to P500,000. There could also be further penalties of two years imprisonment and P200,000, she said.
The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists the Philippine tarsier as “Near Threatened” due to population decline over the last 20 years, habitat loss, and “harvesting for the pet trade.”
“It is heavily harvested as food and especially for the pet trade. This is illegal, but there are recent anecdotal reports that the pet markets in Manila are being flooded with tarsiers retailing at less than P500 per individual,” the IUCN said on its website.
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