The Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Region 8 (DENR-8) has rescued and freed a juvenile Philippine scops owl (Otus megalotis) in Tolosa, Leyte town.
The bird was rescued by the DENR-8 personnel in Barangay Burak, Tolosa, Leyte, according to DENR 8 Regional Executive Director Tirso P. Parian, Jr.
Parian added that local residents informed his office about the scops owl, and kept the bird under their care to ensure its safety.
He also said that the DENR-8 officials have observed an adult owl bringing food for the juvenile bird at night.
“We think it was the mother of the owl bringing feeds to the juvenile owl. We really intend to free the bird, but we want to make sure it is safe and in good shape,” local resident Rachel Costiniano said.
Under DENR Administrative Order No. 2019-09, the Philippine scops owl is listed under the category of Other Wildlife Species and is endemic to the Philippines.
Parian lauded the local residents who reported the incident.
“It is important that the community understands how wildlife species maintain the ecological balance of nature”, he said.
“Owls, for instance, provide natural pest control to the environment. They eat insects and pests that are usually bothersome to homes and agricultural areas”, he added.
He warned the public against keeping wildlife species as pets, stating that this is a violation of Republic Act 9147, or also known as “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.”