Monday, December 27, 2010

Update on Rudolph the Deer who remains under captivity at East Avenue Medical Center, Diliman, Q.C.

(Rudolph the Philippine Deer. An endangered species or
this coming New Year's Eve "pulutan" at
East Avenue Medical Center?)

(East Avenue Medical Center, Diliman, Quezon City)

By Chanda Shahani

Last December 24, 2010 the Diliman Diary reported to its readers about the plight of Rudolph, the deer (please see: who can be considered endangered, because all three species of Philippine deer have been put in the endangered list by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

The Diliman Diary was roused out of its slumber today by an urgent text from Ms. Tessa, a volunteer from the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), asking what follow-ups the Diliman Diary had done to protect the animal. While this blogger had every intention of contacting the DENR once government offices had resumed oeprations, Ms. Tessa's concern acquired a sudden urgency in this writer's mind with the realization that the natural accompaniment to yuletide celerations in the Philippines is none other than savoring glass after glass of  world-class San Miguel Beer with  "tapas" - or in Filipino - "pulutan" or "finger foods."

Rudolph was in imminent danger of becoming pulutan by a bunch of rowdy drinkers. When the realization sank in, this writer knew he had to rush over to EAMC to check up on him.

After arriving there, this writer was intercepted by courteous but firm EAMC security guards who asked me why I was so interested in Rudolph. I explained by politely giving the guards a copy of R.A. 8485 of the Philippine Animal Welfare Act of 1998 ( and asked them who was the owner of the deer. They told me the owner was the Director of East Avenue Medical Center. I asked them if it was okay if a letter was written to the Director, asking for custody of the deer (although I would not know what to do with it, but I am assuming PAWS has a better grasp of what to do inasmuch as relocating a wild animal is concerned once custody is obtained), and they advised that the letter should be addressed to the following:

Roland L. Cortez, M.D.
Medical Director
East Avenue Medical Center
East Avenue, Q.C.

The Diliman Diary's basic plan is to ask PAWS for help in asking EAMC for custody of Rudolph the deer and for PAWS to find a proper habitat for Rudolph the deer. This writer is hoping for a positive development before December 31, 2010 because of the imminent danger of New Year's celebrations getting out of hand with the possible result that Rudolph becomes finger food instead of a protected animal. Although a reading of R.A. 9485 would seem to allow for the destruction of a deer, albeit in a humane manner, however a later law, R.A. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 make,s it illegal to destroy wildlife - the definition of which is updated by DENR on a constant basis.  

The DENR Secretary Elisea G. Gozun issued DENR Administrative Order (DAO) No. 2004-15 in 2004 in compliance with a provision in the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001.” The Act cites specific penalties in varying degrees depending on the status of an identified threatened wildlife species under the categories of “Critically Endangered Species (CES),” “Endangered Species (ES),” “Vulnerable Species” or “Other Threatened Species (OTS).

We will keep our readers updated on future developments on this topic.

(Photos by: Chanda Shahani)

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