Kalibasib, the last captive-bred Philippine tamaraw, dies at 21
Rare buffalos can only live up to 20 to 25 years, but knowing this does not make the passing of Kalibasib, the last tamaraw endemic to the Philippines bred in captivity, less heartbreaking.
World Wide Fund-Philippines today announced the death of Kalibasib who had been living in Mindoro Island. “We’d like to bid our own goodbyes to one of the most iconic wildlife in the country. Kalibasib, otherwise known as Kali, lived a long life, reaching the age of 21,” the Facebook post said. “Kali has played a vital role in raising awareness for the conservation of the world’s rarest and most endangered water buffalo species endemic to the Philippines.”
Kali’s name is a portmanteau of “Kalikasan Bagong Sibol,” a phrase that translates to nature newly sprung. In 2018, the Inquirer reported that Kali was already showing signs of slowing down. There was cloudiness in his eyes due to a scratch—and doctors predicted it may take a while to heal. In the same report, the water buffalo was described as “about a meter tall and weighs just as much as a ‘2-year-old Carabao,” according to a coordinator for the Tamaraw Conservation Project.
There are still Tamaraws left, according to WWF-PH’s Alo Lantin, communications officer. They are limited to the slopes of the Iglit-Baco National Park. ”There are rumored pockets of tamaraw beyond the national park, but that hasn’t been confirmed yet,” says Lantin. “And the last official census puts their population at 480.”— Source: ABSCBN NEWS