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The Civet Cat

I vaguely remember the faces of these big cats of my boyhood. I could hear their warning wild meows followed by lightning-like sounds from leaves and branches as they vanished like ghosts. Even for small game my tirador had no chance, maybe a shotgun or paltik would have worked better.

Eventually we progressed to shooting with air guns which led to the dumbest thing I have done in my whole life. In the tradition of sumpit we conviniently carried the reserve lead pellets in our inside our mouths holding the lead with our toungue or teeth. Lead poisoning was not in our vocabulary at that time.

Anyway back to our cats. Elusively wild they would survive in the forest with the agility of a cat. That was almost 60 years ago and they were many.

Elusively wild they would survive in the forest with the agility of a cat.

How did the name "pusa" and "musang" evolve?
From the same place this year, the Inquirer news services repot.

DUPAX DEL SUR, Nueva Vizcaya ˆ The wild civet cat (Macrogalidia musshenbroeki), a species thought to be already extinct, which was bought by an Army soldier here last week died while it was being transported. The soldier bought the animal from local hunters. "It's really unfortunate because just as we were to retrieve the cat from Manabat, he informed us that it had died along the way,"

He insisted that the cat, known here as mutit, was not butchered to become an appetizer (pulutan) by soldiers.

" It would be a type of pulutan that is very dear," he said. "Besides, we raise chickens here (in the camp) which we can have as pulutan if we want to."
Calimag said he was sure that none of his men, who were among those who tried to buy the wild cat and a 10-foot python (sawa), were drunk because my instructions were very clear: I do not allow drinking inside the camp."





The wounded cat, which became the object of a virtual custody battle between soldiers and local reporters, was bought on Feb. 28 for 250 pesos from farmer Ernesto Abangan.

The animal, caught in the forests of Sitio Akkon in Barangay Malasin, Dupax del Norte town, was chanced upon by reporters as it was being bargained off to the soldiers.

After striking a deal with the farmer, Manabat, with the prodding of fellow soldiers, refused to yield to the suggestions of Inquirer‚s correspondent that the animal be first turned over to the Department of Environment of Natural Resources.

Manabat reportedly wanted to bring home the cat to have it live among his chickens because of the old belief that the musang can drive off evil spirits.

But while in transit, the animal apparently died of suffocation after it was stuffed inside the baggage compartment of a bus that Manabat took on his way home to Nueva Ecija.

It was not made clear what disciplinary actions await Manabat. "While it is true that Œignorance of the law excuses no one,‚ he (Manabat) might not have known that there was such a law (Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act of 2001)," Calimag said.

He urged the DENR to be more aggressive in its information drive over the law, especially in areas where the hunting of wildlife is said to be prevalent.
The musang and other exotic animals found in the country‚s forests are protected by RA 9147, which prohibits the killing, wounding, collection or possession of wildlife, classified as" critical," "endangered" and "threatened."

Violators can face a maximum imprisonment term of 12 years, and a fine of as much as one million pesos.
According to Abangan, aside from the musang, the forest of Akkon is still home to a number of wild pigs (baboy damo), lizards (bayawak) and deer.

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