Indonesian Consulate pushes drive vs wildlife smuggling

Following the successful repatriation of rescued 91 Indonesian endangered animals to Indonesia on July 27, 2020, Consul General Dicky Fabrian of the Indonesian Consulate General of Davao has urged both countries to closely cooperate in managing each territorial sea to prevent incident of smuggling of endangered animals.

These animals originated in Indonesia, which was under the care of Davao Crocodile Park (DCP) for more than a year, are composed of palm cockatoo, sulphur-crested cockatoo, lory, northern cassowary, wallaby, papuan hornbill, skink, and eclectus parrot among others. They were seized through a joint operation of the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources 11 (DENR 11)  and other enforcement agencies last April 8, 2019 at Sitio Manggihay, Barangay Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental.

“As per information we received, these animals were smuggled though sea,” Fabrian said.

Fabrian said animal smuggling is widespread in Indonesia due to the value of money that can be obtain by the smuggler. He said the price of a palm cockatoo is US$65,000.

“This will definitely lure such people to do smuggling,” he said.

He said it is important that both countries must cooperate more closely, especially in managing their territorial sea such as deploying more patrols to address issue.

Fabrian said one of the strategic routes that is often used to smuggle illegal wildlife from Indonesia is from the eastern region and this is why Indonesian government continue to establish good relations and increase support from the Philippine government to be able to disclose illegal circulation activities of Indonesian animals as an effort to protect Indonesia’s biological wealth, of course we all hope and continue to strive to eradicate illegal wildlife trade and increase public awareness.

He also recognized the efforts, commitment and assistance of DCP especially in keeping the animals healthy and in good condition from the time it was rescued until the repatriation process

“Those animals were being carefully handled by DCP because this establishment has capacity to do so,” he said.

Philip Dizon, businessman and owner of DCP, said DENR assisted the park for its financial expense in taking care of the rescued Indonesian animals.

“They are very endangered species and when we got them we made cages. Basically feed them. We were able to save 90 percent of the animals that were turned over to us,” he said.

DCP is the main partner of DENR 11 in conservation and perpetuation of wildlife animals being rescued in the region. DCP advocates to inspire people to respect, appreciate nature, share their knowledge and enthusiasm to others.

The repatriation was conducted in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Indonesia, Embassy of Indonesia-Manila, Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in Davao City, Ministry of Environment and Forestry-Indonesia, DENR 11, Biodiversity Management Bureau-Manila and DCP.

Aboard Indonesian sea vessel Gloria 28, the animals will travel an estimated of 30 hours of voyage with route Davao City to Bitung City, Indonesia escorted by a team from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry-Indonesia consists of animal keepers, forest ranger and a senior officer with expertise in the field of birds and mammals.