By Tara Yap
ILOILO CITY — Two endangered green sea turtles in Panay Island were recently rescued and released back to their natural habitat.
Jim Sampulna, Western Visayas director of Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), said both pawikans (as the locals call it) were found in northern Panay.
A female Green Sea Turtle was freed in Numancia town, Aklan province by DENR-Aklan’s Protected Area Management and Biodiversity Conservation Unit (AMBCU).
The turtle was accidentally trapped in the fishnet of a local fisherman Marcelo Bustamante, who sought DENR’s assistance to check the turtle’s condition.
Another female Green Sea Turtle was rescued in Culasi town, Antique province. The turtle was also entangled in the fishnet of Tony Gregorio, who also sought the help of DENR.
The “pawikan” is one of the six species of marine turtles in the world found in the Philippines.
Meanwhile, Sampulna reminded the importance of the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001. (Tara Yap)