Authorities raided a farm in Gloria town in Oriental Mindoro province on Tuesday for allegedly selling wildlife without the necessary permits.
Members of the Environment Department and the National Bureau of Investigation seized a total of 56 animals from the farm, including African lovebirds, an Indian ring-necked bird, iguanas, a crimson-bellied parakeet, a cockatiel, a tortoise, and a rainbow lorikeet, Remate reports. The authorities said some of the animals on the farm were from Palawan island, while the rest were illegally smuggled into the Philippines.
Authorities also arrested the farms’ caretakers, identified as Zam Angelo Zamoranos and Jessie Dacutanan, for illegal wildlife trading, Balitambayan reports. The farm’s owner and Zam’s father, Fernando Zamoranos Jr., was not present at the time of the raid.
Government agents conducted the raid after they received information last month that the farm was selling the exotic animals, according to ABS-CBN News. They put the farm under surveillance for a week to verify the information, then sent an undercover agent who posed as a customer who wanted to buy a bird worth PHP2,000 (US$39.40). It was during the agent’s visit that the raid took place.
The animals were brought to the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center in Quezon City for safekeeping. They will be transferred to a rescue center in Oriental Mindoro in the future.
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