A whale shark, known as ‘butanding’ that found itself stranded after it strayed into the fishermen’s nets along the shores of Binmaley Beach on Tuesday, February 16 was freed by the community.
Sighting of the stranded butanding was initially reported by fishermen residing along the coastline of Barangay San Isidro Norte to the Binmaley Police Station.
With the help of the police, the fishermen and residents of the barangay collaborated to free the marine creature from the nets.
Fishermen who saw the butanding up close said it had no visible injuries being trapped in the fishing mesh.
Locals said sightings of marine animals such as butandings and dolphins along the coast of the Lingayen Gulf are normal because of its abundance of fish.
“May mga balyena at dolphin na nagagawi po talaga malapit sa dalampasigan, kumakain sila ng isda, pero nagkakataon po na pumapasok sila sa lambat”, said Mang Rufo, a local fisherman.
Meanwhile, another resident of Barangay San Isidro Norte in Binmaley, surrendered a bayawak (monitor lizard) to the Department of Environment on Monday, February 15.
Marsamrose Aquino, the resident, said her uncle, Arc Bautista, a balikbayan, made her buy the bayawak from a friend who caught it along the fishpond in the area.
“Hindi po inaasahang mahuli yung bayawak, kaya binili ni tito ko from the US para i-surrender po sa DENR, para maalagaan siya”, said Aquino.
Bautista sent her uncle wired her P1,500 to buy the bayawak with the instruction to notify the DENR of the existence of the bayawak.
Aquino said the five-feet long lizard weighed seven kilos.
The DENT officials who retrieved the bayawak said they will release it into the wild after taking records.
Meanwhile, authorities reminded the public that it is illegal to hunt and trade wildlife without a wildlife permit from the DENR.
Republic Act 9147, the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, approved in 2001, protects all wildlife, not only those considered as endangered. (Ahikam Pasion)
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