ANGELES CITY, Pampanga — The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Regional Intelligence Unit of the Police Regional Office 3 in Barangay Malabanias here rescued a young Visayan hornbill classified as critically endangered from illegal wildlife traders on Wednesday.
In a statement, Pampanga Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO) Laudemir Salac disclosed that their office received information that a certain Mike Chua was selling a Visayan hornbill via social media.
The group then proceeded to accost the alleged illegal wildlife traders and rescue the endangered hornbill or the Penelopides panini.
Angeles City Police Offic investigator Staff Sgt. Angelito Tungul said that the raid resulted in the arrest of Chua’s accomplices identified as Norman Vee Balili, a 22-year-old resident of Barangay Malabanias.
Balili was selling the animal without necessary permit from the DENR.
Tungul said that the DENR and the police is setting up a follow-up operation to arrest the mastermind, citing that the trading, collecting, hunting, or possessing of wildlife including their by-products is illegal and against wildlife law.
Balili will be charged for violating Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act which carries a maximum penalty of four years imprisonment and a fine of up to P300,000.
The Visayan hornbill is one of the 11 endemic hornbill species in the country and the latest species to be identified as critically endangered due to hunting and loss of habitat.
The species is found in the forest area of Panay islands, Negros, Masbate and Guimaras.
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