An Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto longimembris) rescued by DENR CENRO Ormoc personnel in Kananga, Leyte.
(Photo by: DENR-8)

TACLOBAN CITY – A student has turned over a wildlife to the Community Environment and Natural Resources (CENRO) in Ormoc City, a report from Department of Environment and Natural Resources regional office 8 (DENR-8), based in this city, said.
Tirso Parian, DENR-8 regional executive director, said that the Mary Ann Mercolita, a Grade 12 student turned over an adult Eastern Grass Owl (Tyto longimembris) to the Ormoc City CENRO last week.
Mercolita shares her encounter with the adult Eastern Grass Owl which flew to their backyard in Sitio Toril, Barangay Masarayao, Kananga, Leyte.
“We were ecstatic to see unique species of bird right at our backyard, but we never thought of keeping it as pets. I know they should be in their natural habitat,” the student said.
“They were three, two of the birds flew and the other one stayed, and this concerned me a bit. Maybe it wasn’t in good condition, so I thought it has to be rescued by animal protection experts,” she added.
Mercolita added that that their science lesson at school was on wildlife and biodiversity when she encountered the owl. “My learning made me aware of its value. Wildlife needs to be protected and preserved, and we need to conserve our forest resources, their home,” she said
“With the help of my classmates, I immediately requested the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) through their social media account to rescue the owl which my father first kept at home to ensure its safety. We were happy that it was immediately rescued by the DENR CENRO Ormoc,” she said.
Parian reported that the rescued owl was brought to the DENR Regional Wildlife Rescue Center in Palo, Leyte for proper care and rehabilitation before it is released to the wild.
He added that DENR-8 Department is happy to see active partners in environmental protection and wildlife preservation among the younger generation.
He stressed that while the younger ones are taking simple steps, the agency is making an ardent appeal to the general public to rescue and turn-over wildlife species to the nearest DENR office to ensure their safety. RED Parian also warned the public against keeping endangered wildlife species as pets since this is a violation of Republic Act 9147, An Act Providing for the Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats.