MANILA – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources on Saturday said it will be investigating the owner of the two ostriches which went viral on social media running inside a subdivision in Quezon City.
DENR Undersecretary Benny Antiporda confirmed that one of the ostriches was already turned over to the DENR Biodiversity Management Bureau at Wildlife Rescue Center on Friday by its alleged owner, Jonathan Cruz.
Unfortunately, the other ostrich died.
“Isinurender po yung isang ostrich dun po sa ating wildlife rescue center sa DENR. Sad to say base sa naging statement nung sinasabing nag mamay-ari nito na si Jonathan Cruz, yung isa daw pong ostrich ay na-stress at namatay (One of the ostriches was already surrendered to the DENR wildlife rescue center. Sad to say, according to the statement by the alleged owner of the animals, a certain Jonathan Cruz, one of the ostriches died due to stress),” he said.
However, the DENR will not take the statement that the other ostrich has already died, unless its dead body will be shown to them, Antiporda said.
On Monday, the DENR-NCR will be having a technical conference to investigate on the issue where they will invite Cruz to attend.
Antiporda said they will be looking at the permit to transport presented by the owner which states that the two animals were transported from Misamis bound for Nueva Ecija.
He said they need to know how and why the said animals ended up inside the Mapayapa Village in Quezon City.
He added that it also puzzles them that the owner is not from the same village given that his address is in Balingasa, Quezon City.
Antiporda said as of Saturday, Cruz has not presented any permit from the DENR allowing him to take care of the ostrich inside their residence.
The owner, he said, will be given the chance to explain his side to the DENR-NCR, since he is considered to be in good faith after surrendering the said “remaining” ostrich to the proper authorities.
Antiporda also gave an assurance that the welfare of the animal is their utmost concern.
“Rest assured na yung welfare ng mga hayop na ito ay binibigyan natin ng pahalaga at in case we find out na may talagang pagpapabaya itong may-ari at may mga violations may mga karampatang kaso na isasampa ang DENR matapos ang gaganaping technical conference (the welfare of the animals are our utmost concern. In case we find out that there are negligence and violations on the part of the alleged owner then DENR will file cases against him after the technical conference),” Antiporda said. (PNA)