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Monday, July 18, 2011

The Fuss on "Tuko"

The tuko is now fast becoming one of the most popular lizards in the country today.  It is now being called in a more classy way as Tokai Gecko.  Before, these lizards scare a lot of people when they see it in their their houses.  When I was young, I used to always look at the ceiling when I take a shower fearing that a tuko is up their and ready to pounce on me. Now, the Tokai is practically the hottest selling animal in the market save for chickens and pigs I guess. Rumors are flying that a lizard can earn you thousands of pesos.  The tuko is believed cure diseases and conditions like cancer, asthma,  impotence, tuberculosis, and even AIDS.
Several government agencies are alarmed of the tuko situation.  First, the Department of Health said there is no proof or enough scientific study to support claim on Tokai Gekos as medicine. The DOH officials are worried that people might rely on the healing properties of the lizard rather going to a doctor.
The Department of Natural Resources and Protective Areas and Wildlife Bureau also state that tuko hunting could upset the natural balance in the ecology as lizards are important in limiting the insect population. The officials of the said agencies also said that under RA 9147 or the Philippine Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act, the capture and selling of the reptile is prohibited and could net a person as much as 3 years in prison time and a fine of P300,000.
I guess a lot of people are still going hunt those poor reptiles.  There is indeed a market for it and people are even selling the 'tuko' in the internet.  Watch out though, there have been reports of scammers who trick people to engage in the tuko trading business and end up running with their money.
Personally, I would not hunt tuko or buy one for even a 100 pesos. The tuko still scares me and I respect and appreciate its purpose as a mosquito killer.  I would not let people into my house just to hunt for these lizards.  Tuko trading could net someone a lot of cash but I'd rather stay in my job. ;)
Related Articles:
Tuko trade illegal (Sunstar)
Tuko trading thrives online (gmanews)
Tuko scam (jamflanox)