New Bilibid Prison (NBP) turns into New Bilibid zoo when four (4) sugar gliders inside (2) cages were found at the maximum security compound of NBP.
Said sugar gliders or petaurus breviceps were among the objects recovered on Tuesday at the compound Quadrant 4, Building 5 which houses an estimate of 3,000 inmates.
Sugar gliders are in the same family of kangaroos and koala bears. They are small arboreal and nocturnal marsupials native to Australia and Indonesia.
It was the first time that the policemen confiscated sugar gliders ever since they started “Oplan Galugan” November last year.
The NBP director, Supt. Richard Schwarzkopf told the Inquirer that the inmates had been taking care of the gliders as pets for recreation.
Said exotic animals make wonderful pets for the reason that they can relate well to people, hunger after attention from humans, and like dogs, form strong connection with their pet-owners, according to Sugar Gliders Philippines Community.
Prices of gliders range from Php. 2,000 to Php. 3,000, the group said.
As a policy, the NBP does not allow inmates to keep pets and exotic animals, Schwarzkopf said in explaining why the gliders are in police custody.
NBP administrators do not allow prisoners to keep and take care of pets and exotic animals as per its policy.
“However, since pets are not considered contrabands, we are actually considering the possibility of allowing dogs or cats inside NBP to help inmates fight their boredom,” Schwarzkopf said.
“It can also be a big part of their reformation,” he added.
Improvised firearms, cell phones, air coolers, speakers, knives, Wi-Fi routers, and weighing scales are also seized.
“Oplan Galugan” will continue in the coming weeks and months as part of NBP’s security measures.
“We hope to make this a routine to prevent contrabands from entering the prison compound,” he said.