Monday, April 2, 2012

Liloan Trippers Speak Out on Stranded Butanding in Southern Cebu

Everyone who has brushed up on news in Cebu have heard about the whale sharks. Though this is located in Oslob, in the southern part of Cebu, certain events have piqued my concern and thus the reason for this post

Whale shark tours are available daily in Oslob, where you get the chance to be up close and personal with the butanding. The fishermen lure the whale shark with a meal of krill, so other bancas or small boats can approach and let the tourists meet the butanding. However, this is done at a distance. I've kinda noticed that people in Oslob are careful about proximity with the whale shark, as per my friends' pictures and mementos of their trip to Oslob and their meeting with the whale shark.

It seems, however, that some people are taking the "up close and personal" too far. Take a look at this picture:

You can see that this is a stranded butanding located in a shallower part of the waters. Nobody even needed a banca to get close this poor thing. Instead of letting the butanding escape into the ocean to live another day to entertain them, these people instead did something different: they tied the tail of the butanding so that it cannot swim to sea and turned it into a form of tourist attraction.

Take note, this is not located in Oslob where the legitimate whale shark watching services are located. This is in Boljoon, a town located right before Oslob. We don't know what's really going on, or if the butanding has been released already, but some people need to be educated about how to properly treat these animals so that this does not happen again.

Liloan Trippers join the call for the local and provincial government to take action on this through local awareness and penalizing those that made the offense. You cannot imagine the amount of stress that this whale shark is experiencing as it is crowded upon by people. It's helpless with the rope around its tail and people preventing it from escaping.

These are gentle giants, but they also feel stress too. You don't treat it as a surfboard. Personally, as an animal lover, I am disgusted by the extent at which these people turned the gentle butanding into a circus animal. Check out a few more pictures of this poor butanding.


P.S. Ignorance of the law is not an excuse.