Philippine police rescue 1,600 geckos in warehouse

AP News
Posted: Nov 30, 2011 5:44 AM

An official says police have rescued more than 1,600 geckos in a southern Philippine warehouse they suspect would have been smuggled to Asian countries.

The Philippines has expressed alarm over the growing trade in the wall-climbing lizards. They are used as aphrodisiacs or traditional medicine for asthma, AIDS, cancer, tuberculosis and impotence in countries like China, South Korea and Malaysia.

An 11-ounce (300-gram) gecko reportedly sells for at least 50,000 pesos ($1,160).

Police Senior Supt. Albert Ferro said Wednesday the export of exotic reptiles like geckos is prohibited. Police are preparing criminal complaints against six people who kept the geckos in a warehouse in General Santos city where some lizards have died in boxes.