This is rather a belated entry, being based on news articles which appeared last week, but some fluke at accessing the Philippine Star’s homepage led me to article’s page again, complete with picture. And so I got fired up all over again.
The article was about a bunch of reptiles – about a hundred monitor lizards and snakes – intercepted by airport personnel inside a suitcase bound for Bangkok. The snakes were packaged in plastic bottles while the lizards, wearing disposable diapers, were placed inside jute bags.
The Inquirer report said:
“One 40-inch-long monitor lizard was already dead when the reptiles were shown to the media while the other lizards were still apparently struggling to free themselves from the bags. Several snakes of various colors were still alert despite their confinement. They hissed and slithered inside the wet bottles.”
The articles also featured pictures of the reptiles in their confinement. I’m posting them here now in case the archive links won’t work:
From the Inquirer article:
From the Philippine Star article:
Of course it’s great that the attempted smuggling was foiled but, you’d think that somebody would think of – I don’t know – getting the poor animals out of their confinement, maybe? You can imagine the airport authorities going, wait, we have to present this to the media, let’s get a press con together here, etc. – and a flurry of activities while phone calls to the media are made and spokespersons spiffed themselves up for the photo-op – while the poor reptiles still lay tortured inside those bottles and what-not. They probably have an excuse for it too, they can say that they had to wait for the proper veterinary experts to come, because they’re the ones who will surely know how to handle the animals. But man – you had time to hold a press con, for crying out loud!
And another thing that gets my goat – when you see those news articles on how some wildlife was found in a farm somewhere, and some well-meaning villager catches the animal and turns it over to the DENR, and the story that comes out is that the animal was “rescued.” The animal was doing perfectly well minding its own business when you caught it and brought it over to that cramped and smelly government zoo, you ninny. If it needed any rescuing, it needed to be rescued from you. And yeah, probably from some of the neighbors who’d be oh-so-gleeful for some free pulutan, or a new pet. Why can’t people just leave the animals alone? I’d understand it if the animal was found in an urban residential area where it obviously does not belong, but these things also happen in upland villages in the provinces, where the animals are in their natural habitat. If someone kidnaps you from your home and puts you in a government facility because that way you can be protected from muggers and thieves and whatnot, would you be grateful?
Better than being made to wear disposable diapers and stuffed in mineral water bottles, I suppose.