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Lone captive tamaraw in Mindoro dies

Francis Wakefield

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Kalibasib when it was still alive. (EE image)
The lone captive Tamaraw at the Tamaraw Gene Pool Farm, in Rizal, Occidental Mindoro has died.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced the death of the wild carabao named Kalibasib, short for (Kalikasang Bagong Sibol or nature newly sprung), at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, 10 October.
 
In his report submitted to the Provincial Environment Natural Resources Office (PENRO) base in Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro, Neil Anthony del Mundo, said Kalibasib or “Kali” had no injury or manifestation of disease.
The tamaraw was observed to be having some sort of diarrhea on Friday but was still eating well and last eaten banana mid Saturday morning, according to Del Mundo.
 
Del Mundo, who studied Zoology at the University of the Philippines Los Baños, said Kalibasib was born on 24 June 1999 and the sole progeny of the tamaraw breeding program in the 90s at the Tamaraw Gene Pool Farm in Barangay Manoot.
 
“A Tamaraw’s life span is estimated to be from 20 to 25-years old. It is said that if we compare the age of a tamaraw to humans, we multiply it by four, so in a human age, Kali is 84-years old,” Del Mundo said.
 
Del Mundo said Kalibasib, who died on the very month of this year’s celebration of National Tamaraw Month, is the longest living tamaraw on record at age 21.
 
“Currently, we are trying to contact veterinarians to conduct necropsy on the carcass of Kalibasib but according to the Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Kristoffer Gonzales, they are on isolation,” Del Mundo said.
 
He said the Municipal Veterinarian of San Jose cannot be reached and most of the local government unit employees of San Jose are in isolation facilities as a result of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak in the municipal building.
 
The TCP expressed hope that Kalibasib’s passing will drive the people of Mindoro to enhance the protection of the tamaraw and their natural habitats so that it did not die in vain.
 
The DENR has yet to issue a formal statement of the tamaraw’s death. 
p: wjg

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