Pandi arrives in the PPCIA through a commercial flight. (Photo courtesy of Atty. TJ Matta)

A rescued Palawan pangolin that was found roaming Ayala Alabang Village in Muntinlupa City was repatriated on Saturday through the efforts of concerned residents and wildlife conservation advocates.

The pangolin, named “Pandi” by his rescuers, was placed in the care of Dr. Glenn Mangud of the Biodiversity Management Bureau Department of Environment and Natural Resources (BMB-DENR) after it was found by village tanods on August 17. Manguad was then assisted by friends, concerned residents, Atty. Edward Lorenzo of Conservation International (CI), and the National Wildlife Rescue and Rehabilitation Center (NWRRC) to secure Pandi’s repatriation to Palawan.

Pandi arrived at the Puerto Princesa City International Airport (PPCIA) on Saturday morning, August 21, after its travel papers from the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) were secured. 

PCSDS spokesperson Jovic Fabello stated that Pandi may have been only recently poached from Palawan due to the kind of material found inside its stomach through an x-ray.

“Ang sabi sa akin ni Dr. [Glenn] Rebong, yong nakitang laman ng tiyan [ng pangolin], possible indication na bago lang nadala sa Manila at may laman pang soil matter galing sa kinain dito,” Fabello said.

Rebong, PCSDS’ on-call veterinarian, declared upon Pandi’s arrival that it was in good condition and fit for release into the wild.

“Bago siya ire-release sa secure na location, para hindi ma-poach uli, bibigyan din siya ng vitamins para may laban siya,” Fabello added.

Fabello added that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) will look into Pandi’s case. Palawan pangolins are endemic to the province but are sometimes found outside their natural habitat due to poaching and the illegal pet trade. Pangolin scales are also believed to have healing properties in traditional Chinese medicine, which is fueling the demand for live specimens.