BINMALEY, Pangasinan – A “butanding” (whale shark) was rescued after being trapped in a fishing net off the waters of this town on Tuesday.
The Binmaley Police Station said several concerned citizens rushed to their office to inform them of the incident.
Authorities and residents helped remove the netted marine creature until it got free and returned to the depths of the sea.
Fishermen who saw the butanding up close said it has no injuries despite being trapped in the fishing net.
Mang Rufo, a local fisherman, in an interview, said it is fairly normal to see marine animals such as butandings and dolphins along the coast of the Lingayen Gulf because of its abundance of fish.
The butanding is a slow-moving shark and is one of the largest fish species.
Meanwhile, a resident also turned over a monitor lizard to authorities here on Monday.
Marsamrose Aquino, a resident of Barangay San Isidro Norte, said her uncle, Arc Bautista, purchased the monitor lizard from a friend who originally caught it while walking along the fishpond in the area.
“Hindi po inaasahang mahuli yung bayawak, kaya binili ni tito ko from the US (United States) para isurrender po sa DENR (Department of Environment and Natural Resources), para maalagaan siya (They accidentally caught the monitor lizard, so my uncle who is from the US purchased it so he could surrender it to DENR for proper care),” Aquino said.
Bautista sent Aquino PHP1,500 through wire transfer to purchase the monitor lizard and she immediately called the DENR afterwards.
Aquino said the lizard weighs around seven kilos and has a length of five feet.
Officials who retrieved the lizard said they will release it into the wild after making records.
Meanwhile, authorities reminded the public that it is illegal to hunt and trade wildlife without a 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 / PNA – northboundasia.com