The PNP discovered more than 1,600 “tuko” in a warehouse in the southern part of the country. The lizards were smuggled and put on the market abroad. Illegal transaction in “tuko” is escalating because of the high demand overseas. The lizards are said to be a cure to some diseases. The illegal deal of the animals is the source of poaching and smuggling worldwide. Other species are in danger because of the demand in other Asian markets.
There are issues raised in this matter. One of the issues is the problem against poachers and smugglers. The false conviction about the medicinal purpose of the animal parts is another subject. In this illegal activity, there is a possibility that this will ruin the environmental balance.
Yes. It's too good to be true - that the first thing that came into my mind as I had known the tuko trade here in our country. I never had imagined that the reptile with a funny image that I usually play tricks and make fun at home when I am still young can really worth as much as hundreds of thousands of pesos, even millions. I remember back then, when I see a “tuko”, I immediately find for stick, put soap on it and stuck it on the lizard’s wide mouth. Hahahaha! It was hilarious. From the younger age, the only thing that I have known about tuko is that it has a special grip ability, where the "kapit tuko" came from. Some said that the tuko can predict the weather. Older people even said that even you shot it dead on a tree with an air gun; it will still hang up in there because of its special grip ability. My lolo even tricked me that if this lizard will stick in my skin, it is needed that an aeta or “ati” will “tuwad” in order to remove the tuko....