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Feb 03rd
Home Sections Ecology and the Environment "Butanding Liberation Brigade" Launched to Free Captive Whale Sharks in the Georgia Aquarium
"Butanding Liberation Brigade" Launched to Free Captive Whale Sharks in the Georgia Aquarium PDF Print E-mail
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Sections - Ecology and the Environment
Friday, 29 June 2007 12:17

Yes, folks, this online publication is taking up the cudgels for the whale sharks (butandings, as called in the Philippines). If you do not know what a butanding is, please read our article about this docile creature, which is considered the world’s largest fish. Please just click on this link  and you will even see butandings swim off the coast of Donsol town in Sorsogon Province, Philippines.

The Georgia Aquarium holds whale sharks in captivity and two of them (named Norton and Ralph) recently died. Norton was euthanized by veterinarians on June 13, 2007. Ralph died in January of this year. The Aquarium immediately replaced the dead butandings with two new males, Taroko and Yushan, which were flown in from Taiwan on June 1, 2007 (12 days before Norton died). The two new arrivals are joining two female butandings named Alice and Trixie, which came to the Georgia Aquarium in 2006. To read more about the captive whale sharks, please go to

According to marine biologists, whale sharks in captivity live only for an average of less-than 17 months. The butanding has been declared an endangered species by many countries. The whale shark can live for decades in the wild. It is, therefore, immoral for the Georgia Aquarium to hold captive the whale sharks. They must be returned to the wild, specifically in the South China Sea.

This writer sent today an e-mail to the Georgia Aquarium. The e-mail read: QUOTE.

I am the editor of the, which is now the fastest-growing Filipino community web site. I come from the Province of Sorsogon in the Philippines, which is one of the favorite playgrounds of the whale sharks (locally known as "butandings.") We want to help you solve your problem of what to do with your captive whale sharks. We want to help you release the butandings back to China Sea. If you do not want to discuss with us how we can bring back part of our people's patrimony, then we will engage you in a brutal public-relations war, accompanied by boycotts and picketing. We do not want to declare a "media-led PR war" against your company. Perhaps we can discuss a peaceful and amicable way to release the "butandings" back to nature.

Thank you for the attention.


Bobby M. Reyes, Founder, "Butanding Liberation Brigade" UNQUOTE.

A "public-relations war" against the Georgia Aquarium is not hard to win. The prime mover of the Aquarium, Bernie Marcus, is the founder of Home Depot. If we can marshal the so-called Filipino-American "steak commandoes," then we can capture the imagination, interest and involvement of the American people, especially the environmentalists. It will only be a question of leading the picketing and boycott of the Georgia Aquarium and its "sister company" (sic), the Home Depot.

So, mga Kapatid, let us prepare for this "PR war," which may involve picketing of the Georgia Aquarium and all Home Depot stores. This is a "Win-Win" situation for our people, for the environment and best of all, for the captive butandings. Let us free Taroko, Yushan, Alice and Trixie.

Mabuhay ang Filipino. Mabuhay ang Butanding. Hala bira, hala bira . . . (to borrow the slogan of Doc Simp of Chicago and Romblon).

The interested Fil-Am "steak commandoes" may contact this writer at to volunteer and get ourselves organized. YIMBY, as in "Yes, in my back-yard." Let us return the Georgia Aquarium’s butandings to their home in the wild, in the backyard of Sorsoganons, Bicolnons, Samarnons and the Filipino people in general. # # #

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Last Updated on Sunday, 01 July 2007 12:25

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