The Hong Kong government yesterday sent back to the Philippines the second batch of endangered wildlife that was smuggled out of the country by a Chinese last February.
Six Sailfin Lizards, which are endemic to the country, arrived yesterday afternoon aboard Philippine Airlines flight PR319 from Hong Kong.
The lizards were part of the shipment seized by Hong Kong authorities from Zhang Wenwei on board a Cebu Pacific flight last February 8, together with 36 Philippine Pond and Asian Box Turtles.
It was learned that after the apprehension of the endangered animals, the Hong Kong government got in touch with the Katala Foundation, Inc., a non-profit organization active in the protection and conservation of wildlife, for the return of the turtles which are endemic to the country.
The Katala Foundation in turn contacted the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) to handle the government to government negotiations for the official return of the turtles.
Last April 27, the turtles were flown back home from the former Crown Colony also aboard a Philippine Airlines flight.
Sailfin Lizards are endemic across the Philippine islands except in Palawan. It grows to a length of up to one meter long and is sold in the black market for US$ 1,000 each. (Anjo Perez and Marvyn Benaning)