Truth be told, this tuko or Philippine tokay gecko issue has been known for quite sometime. Apparently, a lot of Filipinos (yes, even those from Bukidnon) are into this buy and sell tuko trade because a lot of foreigners specifically Malaysians, Indonesians and Japanese buy geckos at high prices.
How high? According to a tuko buy and sell website BukidnonOnline.com found, a gecko or tokay gecko that weighs at least 350 grams will fetch as much as US $200,000 or roughly Php 8 Million. Another gecko buy and sell website Bukidnon Online found says that they can pay as much as Php 10 Million for a 400 gram tuko. No, we’re not kidding. That’s how much foreigners are willing to pay for these Philippine tukos.
And, as fate would have it, there are a lot of tukos here in Bukidnon. In fact, at least 5 people have already sent emails to us here at BukidnonOnline.com (!!!) asking if they can post ads of their geckos for sale!
Now, if you’re wondering why foreigners want to buy tukos, there are reports that claim that these nocturnal geckos can be cures to asthma, cancer or even HIV/AIDS. Naturally, the World Health Organization has released a statement saying that there’s no basis for this at all especially since there isn’t any cure for AIDS yet. Still, a lot of people engage in the tuko trade…and if the prices are that high, then we shouldn’t even wonder why people sell and buy geckos or tukos.
But ah…seriously, the question now is — are the Philippine government agencies responsible for monitoring these tuko traders doing something? More importantly — are the Bukidnon government agencies doing something or are they at a loss as to where and how to start monitoring and capturing the tuko traders? Or worse — are the Bukidnon government agencies just turning a blind eye?
In one website alone, we already found TWO interested buyers of geckos. These buyers are willing to pay big bucks for tuko. Now we can’t help but wonder if the Bukidnon government agencies know how to track these people down especially if there are interested people from Bukidnon who will contact these tuko buyers.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
According to Wikipedia: The Tokay Gecko (Gekko gecko) is a nocturnal arboreal gecko, ranging from northeast India and Bangladesh, throughout Southeast Asia, Philippines to Indonesia and western New Guinea. Its native habitat is rainforest trees and cliffs, and it also frequently adapts to rural human habitations, roaming walls and ceilings at night in search of insect prey. Increasing urbanization is reducing its range. In the late 1980s and early 1990s it was introduced into Hawaii, Florida, Texas, Belize, and several Caribbean islands, where it can be considered an invasive species.