Tuko or Tokay Gecko "(n.) Any lizard of the family Geckonidae. The geckoes are small, carnivorous, mostly nocturnal animals with large eyes and vertical, elliptical pupils. Their toes are generally expanded, and furnished with adhesive disks, by which they can run over walls and ceilings. They are numerous in warm countries, and a few species are found in Europe and the United States." -- thinkexist.com
|A tuko or tokay gecko.|
It was one torrid afternoon when two men in tandem stopped in front of our house bringing with them several 1.5 plastic bottles of soft drinks and asked where the house of Anna was. To my surprise I answered them directly and pointed out the area where it was located. After several seconds, our conversation ended.
Lately, the two men came back bringing with them a four-legged creature that they have caught and placed it inside the plastic bottle. To our surprise it was a gecko or locally known as 'tuko".
Because bystanders are present everywhere, soon they gathered around the two men holding the little creature. Queries followed from the mouth of every bystanders, asking what made them catch such animal. But to our dismay, the two men did not answer our questions and hurriedly left the area as fast as they could, leaving us hanging with the question "why?"
|The poor lizard is weighed before it will be sold.|
Months came and the tuko fever spread out the whole area. Gossips said that tukos are so expensive depending on the weight it has, color and appeal. It could also cure many diseases and could possibly become a pet for the animal lovers.
What makes tuko expensive?
If you think that the tuko fever did not reach the internet world, you're definitely wrong! Tuko enthusiasts have created a website and a Facebook fan page ( titled TUKO for SALE (JUST BID) with 3,659 fans as of the moment) that would enable them to directly buy and sell this animal. According to bukidnonOnline.com, tuko or tokay gecko buyers are mostly foreigners living in Malaysia, Indonesia and Japan which buys these creatures at a very high prize.
It also states that if the tuko weighs 350 grams it will definitely cost as much as US $200,000 or roughly Php 8, 000,000. Another buy and sell website says that they can pay as much as Php 10 million for a 400 grams lizard.
Moreover, it is also believed that the tongue of these reptiles contain a chemical substance that could cure asthma, stop anti-tumor effects, cancer and even HIV/AIDS. So, just as what I said a while ago, that the tuko's price depends on its size, because it would literally determine the size of its tongue.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) disproved the fact that it can treat HIV/AIDS, but some Chinese experts, on the other hand, believe that the tuko or tokay's tongue contains an anti-AIDS vaccine and they have even created a medical drug for this.
Animal may soon become extinct
With the world-wide selling and capturing of these defenseless creatures, soon there would be time that these animals will be included in the country's list of endangered species. The tuko fever now spreads around the archipelago for it was known to be expensive in the medical world. If man will continue hunting down these arboreal and nocturnal reptiles, ecological havoc will be threatened, for these four-legged, wide-eyed animal helps in balancing the flow of the ecosystem.