A pair of Palawan bearded pigs or baboy damo were surrendered Thursday to environment authorities by a resident of Barangay Ramon Magsaysay in Aborlan.
Philip Elliot, who bought the pair of bearded pigs when they were juvenile, surrendered them to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Palawan Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center and Conservation (DENR-PWRCC) and the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff-Wildlife Traffic Monitoring Unit (PCSDS-WTMU).
Jovic Fabello, spokesperson of the PCSDS, said they were bought by Elliot with the intent of caring for them until they were adult enough to be released back into the wild. Now, the pair is around 16-18 months old.
“Si Elliot ay dati na ring nag-surrender ng ahas sa amin kaya aware siya sa mga wildlife laws. Allegedly, binili niya ang mga baboy damo sa kanyang mga trabahante. Gusto niya raw ito muna alagaan kasi noong binili niya, maliliit pa ang mga ito at hindi pa kayang mabuhay sa wild,” said Fabello.
The female weighed 45 kilograms and the male 64 kilograms. The pair are now in their custody, he said.
“Nasa mabuting kondisyon naman ang dalawa, malulusog naman. Kaya lang, masyado na silang naging maamo sa tao, baka kailangan pang alagaan muna sila sa PWRCC facility,” said Fabello.
The Palawan bearded pig (Sus ahoenobarbus), known locally as “baboy damo,” is classified as “near threatened” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Its meat is considered a delicacy, and populations are declining due to deforestation. Local wildlife laws dictate that possession of wildlife, primarily as pets, can result in hefty fines, even imprisonment.