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Two Arrested in Smuggling of Endangered Animals

September 5, 1996

PUERTO PRINCESA, Philippines (AP) _ Police arrested two men trying to smuggle dozens of endangered animals out of Palawan province, a sanctuary for some of the rarest animals in the Philippines and the world.

Authorities said Thursday the cargo of wildlife included 46 mouse deer, 21 red tail squirrels, four monkeys and a wildcat.

Coast Guard Lt. Allen Toribio said the two men were attempting to transport the animals by boat to Iloilo City on nearby Panay Island.

The two suspects _ Jun Ibon and Reynaldo Panes _ said the wife of a military officer had promised to pay them about $192 for each animal.

The animals were collected from a forest on Balabac Island at the southern tip of Palawan, about 525 miles southwest of Manila, police said.

A veterinarian said 13 of the mouse deer have already died because of pneumonia and stress. The other animals were to be given medical treatment and returned to the wild.

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