Davao Oriental Representative Joel Mayo Almario is urging the Philippine government to adopt animals affected by the ongoing Australian bushfires.
In a statement on Tuesday, Almario said the government could put up another wildlife sanctuary like the Calauit Safari Park to be situated in Mindanao, where the adopted animals could find a new home.
According to the lawmaker, the Australian bushfires have already affected almost one billion animals. An estimated half a billion have already been killed, while the surviving others will have nowhere to go to after their natural habitats have been destroyed, he added.
According to a Reuters report, the experts' estimate of as high as half a billion killed include domestic pets and livestock, with potentially hundreds of thousands of injured and displaced native wildlife.
A wildlife sanctuary like the Calauit Safari Park could help preserve species of various animals, Almario noted.
Established in 1976 and covering 3,400 hectares in Calauit Island in Busuanga, Palawan, the Calauit Safari Park has served as a haven for some local endangered species such as the Calamian deer, Palawan bearded pig, Philippine crocodile, Philippine porcupine, binturong, and the Philippine mouse-deer.
The park was also able to preserve a number of animal species, including the reticulated giraffe, Grévy’s zebra, elan, waterbuck, and bushbuck.
Almario also pointed out that the Philippines has offered refuge for individuals fleeing from wars. The country should also do so for animals from Australia affected by the bushfires to prevent their species from becoming extinct.
“By doing so, we save the animals in Australia which are dying right now from heat, starvation, dehydration, pollution, and loss of habitat, and at the same time, create an education center for Filipinos for the care of animals and nature," he said. — BM, GMA News