Lu-Ann and I saw a group of men kill a Black Bittern (Ixobrychus flavicollis) in University of the Philippines Diliman earlier today. Really senseless act of violence. This species is uncommon in the Philippines and extremely rare in the campus (the last documented sighting in the campus that I know of was in 2008). It should be a source of pride for U.P. Diliman that there’s a Black Bittern in its grounds! We reported the killing and showed the photos to two guards. I really hope U.P.’s guards understand that the place is a sanctuary for wildlife, and understand the concept of respecting wildlife. I hope the U.P. leadership does something to protect more effectively the wildlife that seek shelter in its grounds. What a waste of life.

Additional info added 11-10-14: Just to avoid any misconception, the bittern was standing on a muddy part of the lagoon when it was killed by repeated blows to the head with a piece of wood and a jungle bolo. Why a man openly carrying a jungle bolo is allowed to walk around in campus is something that U.P.’s officials should ask its security force. Before it was killed, the bittern may have been already incapacitated in some way, or maybe was exhausted from a long trip, and that’s why it wasn’t able to fly off when the men approached and killed it. This species is usually very wary of humans and would have flown away at the first hint of danger.

Source: Amado Bajarias Jr. Facebook

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