November 10, 2014 3:14pm
Two alumni of the University of the Philippines voiced dismay over the killing of rare wildlife in the UP Diliman Lagoon, after witnessing a particularly violent incidentSunday afternoon, November 9.
Lu-Ann Bajarias said she and husband Amado Jr. were horrified to see the hunting and killing of a rare and elusive Black Bittern by three men in the Lagoon at around 2 p.m. Sunday.
At the time, she said three men had been combing the area, collecting crabs, fish, and what they might consider edible.
"We saw one of the men violently hit something in the water. The sound traveled enough for us to go running, expecting the worst. They held up in pride the elusive Black Bittern (Dupetor flavicollis) of UP Diliman," she said in a Facebook post.
The men then "plucked like it was theirs for the taking," she said.
Amado, in a separate Facebook post, said the Black Bittern (Dupetor flavicollis) is "uncommon in the Philippines and extremely rare in the campus."
He said the last documented sighting in the campus he could recall was way back in 2008.
"Really senseless act of violence," he said.
He added that they reported the killing and showed the photos to two guards.
"I really hope U.P.'s guards understand that the place is a sanctuary for wildlife, and understand the concept of respecting wildlife. I hope the U.P. leadership does something to protect more effectively the wildlife that seek shelter in its grounds. What a waste of life," he said.
and I saw a group of men kill a Black Bittern (Dupetor flavicollis) in U.P. Diliman earlier today. Really senseless act of violence. This species is uncommon in the Philippines and extremely rare in the campus (the last documented sighting in the campus that I know of was in 2008). It should be a source of pride for U.P. Diliman that there's a Black Bittern in its grounds! We reported the killing and showed the photos to two guards. I really hope U.P.'s guards understand that the place is a sanctuary for wildlife, and understand the concept of respecting wildlife. I hope the U.P. leadership does something to protect more effectively the wildlife that seek shelter in its grounds. What a waste of life," he said.
Lu-Ann said the UP Diliman Lagoon is a "source of delight" for her and Amado as they take pictures of kingfishers, parrots, waterhens and other wildlife.
Yet, she said the men who killed it "did not feel they were breaking any law."
"This is an appeal for clarity on what is allowed. If there was an uproar months back on the cutting of sunflowers along the University Avenue, surely, we can't only be a handful feeling this strongly about enforcing No Hunting within campus? We talk enough about campuses being among the city's dwindling green spaces, and how these have become 'avian sanctuaries' (regardless of whether this is on paper or not)," she said.
She urged others who find themselves in the same situation to flag a UP authority and if possible, take a picture.
Following Sunday's incident, she said she and Amado now fear for the White-breasted Waterhen and its chicks.
"Our guess is that they've been taken much earlier. I am not ashamed to say that I cried in the car," she said. — Joel Locsin/TJD, GMA News