A Philippine Pangolin Was Found in Quezon City
A male Philippine pangolin (Manis culionensis) was found in late November 2021 in Quezon City. This is the second pangolin found in Metro Manila this year.
The pangolin, which was named Vertis, was found by Joward Calle within the premises of the Department of Labor and Employment Occupational Safety and Health Center (DOLE OSHC) that is adjacent to Ayala Malls Vertis North, according to the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). It is unclear how the pangolin came to be at the site, but the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is already investigating the matter.
Vertis the Pangolin
“The species was immediately placed under the custody of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources- Biodiversity Management Bureau (DENR BMB) Wildlife Rescue Center,” said PCSD.
Vertis the pangolin was repatriated to Palawan on December 4, where he was ascertained to be in perfect health condition. He was released back into the wild at a secret location. He has a length of 1.1 meters and weighs 4.3 kilograms.
Assessing the Health of Vertis the Pangolin
Pangolins are usually trafficked to Manila to be eaten
When Philippine pangolins are found in Metro Manila, they are usually slaughtered to be eaten. They don’t survive very long outside their habitat because of stress and the lack of a specific species of termite found in Palawan, which is a crucial part of their diet.
In the international black market, a kilogram of Philippine pangolin meat could cost up to P100,000. Vietnamese and Chinese eat pangolin meat for unproven medicinal benefits. A live and healthy pangolin like Vertis could fetch for as much as half a million pesos or more.
Philippine pangolins are listed as “Critically Endangered” in the IUCN Red List.
It is not the first time a Philippine pangolin was found in Metro Manila
On August 16, 2021, a pangolin was found roaming inside Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa. Residents thought it was a strange lizard, until they alerted Anna Varona to help with the pangolin. Varona is an environmentalist who has had past experience with Philippine pangolins. The pangolin was named Pandi after the pandemic. Pandi was safely repatriated to a secret pangolin sanctuary in Palawan.
“Pangolins can’t be kept as pets because they die when they're not in their natural habitat,” Varona told Esquire Philippines back in August.
But that was not the first time a Philippine pangolin was found in the village. In 2019, another Philippine pangolin was also found within the Ayala Alabang Village. It was named Panggoy. Unfortunately, it died of stress and starvation before it could be flown back to Palawan.