The number of wildlife vastly exceeds that of animals in factory farms, in laboratories, or those kept as pets. Therefore, animal advocates should consider focusing their efforts to raise concern about the suffering that occurs in the natural environment. Loss of natural habitat of these wildlife greatly contribute to the decreasing number and human intervention in their breeding, is another factor causing their decrease in number as wildlife needs to live in their natural habitat.

Our number one priority should be to ensure that we prevent  wildlife suffering or destruction, but  rather preserve it in their habitat.

Environmental Management Specialists of the DENR disclosed that many species are now nearing extinction due to  high technological advancement and low level of awareness of the public on the importance of these wildlife and  conservation of their natural habitat. With this scenario, time shall come when the next generation would not know about these wildlife species, except seeing them in pictures.

             On February 17, 2015, in Brgy. Acao, Bauang, La Union, a water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), commonly known as “Bayawak” or in vernacular “Banyas” was rescued from its cage under the custody of Mrs. Vicky Bambao and her son,  Ronald Bambao.

A concerned citizen has reported to the Police Station of Bauang, La Union that the caretaker has had said Bayawak is in his custody for almost six (6) years and because the complaining citizen believes that it is a dangerous and harmful reptile and poses danger to the safety of the children, she was constrained to report the matter to the proper authorities. 

Dr. Joey Zarate, of the Conservation and Development Division stated that the lizard may have reached his breeding maturity measuring 170 cm long and 26 cm width and weighing almost 10 kg.  The reptile is a male with muscular body with long, powerful, laterally compressed tails.

This wildlife animal is a dwindling species of lizard belonging to “water monitor”, or, more generally, any lizard in the family Varanidae and a class of Reptilia.  Some people tend to hunt them because the skin of this species is used in the leather trade, its meat is eaten, and its fat is used in traditional medicine.  Water monitor should be living in areas close to water. These species are likely to survive in the wild for some time without human intervention; however, populations of these species should still be monitored, as they may become threatened in the future.

           The DENR reminds the public on the conservation of wildlife species following the Wildlife Act or R.A. No. 9147 and Implementing Rules and Regulations, most particularly, Sec. 27 (f) “collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives” and discourages the treatment of wildlife as pets, because these contributes to the removal of species in their natural habitat and may cause these species to die if not properly cared for.  #Aida Paday-os/RPAO.