Saturday Aug, 24 2019 09:54:07 PM

DENR 12 inaugurates first wildlife rescue center in "Sox"

Climate Change/Environment • 09:00 AM Fri Jul 26, 2019
Mahatmah M. Maulana/DENR-12
Dr. Ali M. Hadjinasser (center), CDD chief, Dr. Juanito P. Marcelino (2nd from left), SKSU Lutayan director and DENR and SKSU officials during inauguration of RWRC. (Photo by RJ Ebita)

KORONADAL CITY - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in the Soccsksargen region (also known as Sox) in partnership with Sultan Kudarat State University (SKSU) - Lutayan Campus, formally opened the first Regional Wildlife Rescue Center (RWRC) in the region at the SKSU Campus in Barangay Blingkong, Lutayan on Wednesday morning, July 24.

Dr. Ali M. Hadjinasser, DENR 12 Conservation and Development Division (CDD) chief, said that the establishment of the facility is in compliance with the Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act to ensure the welfare and well-being of wildlife species.

"All the confiscated, abandoned, surrendered or donated wild life will be catered by this rescue center. If they are sick or injured, they will be treated and released eventually to their natural habitat,"  Hadjinasser said.

The official added that the location is an ideal site for wild animals due to the rich natural trees that surround it.

The 2,500 square meter RWRC composes the DENR monitoring, quarantine and intensive care unit buildings and cages for crocodile, python, deer, common, Brahminy kite, lizard and rabbit.

The RWRC will also serve as an avenue for public education and training ground for wildlife enthusiasts on handling, care and management of wildlife in captivity within Region 12.

In a statement, Dr. Neil Velasco, University veterinarian said that the facility will be a good training ground for their students, especially those with biology, agriculture and science subjects, due to its proximity.

Meantime, University Campus Director Dr. Juanito P. Marcelino accepted all responsibilities given to them under the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) they have signed with the DENR 12.

"We are accepting all the responsibilities and challenges given to us by the government. We will fulfill all of these to sustain the operation of the center," Dr. Marcelino said.

Under the MOA, SKSU-Lutayan Campus will ensure the welfare, safety and security of wildlife and will provide additional area to cater other animals if necessary.

On the other hand, the DENR 12 will have the direct supervision of the RWRC and will provide the technical and financial assistance for the center's operation. The agency will also conduct a weekly monitoring as to the status of wildlife and the facility.

"The DENR and SKSU are partners long before when it comes to biodiversity conservation. And with this facility, we will continue our partnership," Estelita L. Corpuz, CDD assistant chief, said.

She added that they will propose for more facility improvements and will work together with SKSU to sustain the RWRC.

Meanwhile, the DENR 12 also reminded the public to help the government protect and conserve the flora and fauna in the region and the entire country.

"We should let the wildlife species live in their natural habitat. Anyone caught harming or possessing wildlife especially those species with categories of vulnerable, endangered and critically endangered will be penalized accordingly," said Forester Mangayao Macapodi, Chief of Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Section.

Section 32 of RA 9147 mandates the DENR Secretary to establish or designate wildlife rescue centers to take temporary custody and care of all confiscated, abandoned and/or donated wildlife to ensure their welfare and well-being. 

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