DENR seeks help to find endangered animals stolen from Avilon Zoo
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is now seeking for the public’s help in locating the nine endangered animal species stolen from Avilon Zoo last week.
The DENR, through its Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), is asking for anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of those responsible for stealing the animals from the wildlife facility.
“We urge those who may have information on who has custody of the wild fauna stolen from Avilon Zoo to report such information to our office through any possible means,” BMB Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez said all information forwarded to the BMB will be treated with absolute confidentiality.
Located in the town of Rodriguez in Rizal province, the 7.5-hectare Avilon Zoo is currently the largest zoological institution in the country in terms of land area and collection of animals.
On August 14, Avilon Zoo announced that thieves broke into its premises and stole nine endangered species of animals.
These include three mature red-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis carbonaria), one mature yellow-footed tortoise (Chelonoidis denticulatus); one mature common snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina); three mature black palm cockatoos (Probosciger aterrimus), and one juvenile brown tufted capuchin monkey (Sapajus apella).
All nine animals are part of the zoo’s conservation breeding program.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda said the incident is now being investigated by the Philippine Operations Group on Ivory and Illegal Wildlife Trade or Task Force POGI, the DENR Calabarzon regional office and the management of Avilon Zoo.