NEWS: ‘Tuko’ Hunting Reported in Pangasinan

I stunned when I saw some websites and Facebook pages that their topic is all about Tokay Gecko or locally known as “Tuko”. They are talking about the species of Tokay Gecko, their sizes, and their corresponding price. And I found out some individuals have been offered amounting to Php100,000 and above for a single “tuko”, but the buyers did not mentioned their purpose for buying. So, to understand what’s behind this Tuko buying and selling issue, I tried to look for more information about it in the internet.

Tokay Gecko Price

The typical current prices for Tokay geckos are as follows:

300 grams: 25,000
400 grams: 80,000
500 grams: 200,000
600 grams: 500,000
800 grams: 800,000

Above 1,000 grams approximately 1 million.

Tokay Gecko for Business

In light of its high demand and high market value, catching and trading in Tokay geckos have become a lucrative side business.
As buyers are only interested in Tokay geckos weighing 300 grams and above, those possessing smaller Tokay geckos would rear the reptiles hoping to sell them once their weight exceeds 300 grams. Although Tokay geckos usually feed on insects such as crickets, cockroaches and grasshoppers, the Tokay geckos in captivity are also fed chicken liver to speed up its growth process.

Tokay Gecko as a cure for AIDS?

The existence of venereal disease AIDS (Aquired Immuno Deficiency Syndrome) is still a frightening and deadly disease for humans, and till these days, scientists are racing to find a cure for AIDS sufferers.This disease is caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Anti Retro Viral (ARV) is one drug to slow the spread of this virus. But there is news out there that saying the Tokay Gecko can be a cure for AIDS, but so far there is no specific research on this subject but many people have believe that this lizard really can cure AIDS. But in some remote areas there are some belief that eating gecko as food helps to increase libido and to cure skin allergies.
From healthy science industry itself, so far there is no official study or research to examine about the efficacy of geckos as AIDS treatment, we all aware that trust and belief in what you consume in one hand is very important in treatment of disease, but medical proof in the other hand is necessary to test the efficacy and content in Tokay Geckos as the cure of AIDS.
There were also reports that it is also being used to coat illegal drugs to prevent detection.
And recently, Pangasinan Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office has been monitoring reports on illegal trade of Tuko in the province because there are youngsters and farmers in San Carlos, Calasiao, Urbiztondo and nearby municipalities who are reported in hunting and selling tuko.
The environment here in Pangasinan is best for Tokay Gecko or Tuko, that’s why there are still plenty of Tuko are found in the area. They can found in the forest especially in the plantation of coconuts.
There are also reports that aside from Pangasinan, the illegal trading of Tokay gecko is rampant in southern Philippines that’s why the DENR ordered the provincial offices nationwide to monitor the said illegal activity.