The onset of the pandemic has left many travel plans canceled or rescheduled. For many of us, this summer could have been a perfect getaway to take on new adventures and learn more about the world and ourselves. But with the current health crisis, many are left disappointed and wondering about the adventures they could’ve had.
One celebrity who is known for his adventures in the wild is Doctor Ferdinand Recio, also known as “Doc Ferds” from GMA Network’s long-running travelogue show, Born to be Wild. According to Doc Ferds, traveling has become his personal way of unwinding and relaxing in the past few years.
“Some people find it stressful preparing their things for travel. I find it relaxing,” Doc Ferds tells My Pope Philippines. “I was always on the go. I didn’t know where I would be next week, what animals I was going to encounter, and the kind of people I was going to meet.” (Read: Palawan Makes 5th in Top Destinations For Post-Lockdown Travel)
But while the country is still under the strict implementation of community quarantine, our favorite celebrity veterinarian looks back and shares with us his most unforgettable adventures. Read on!
Sperm Whale in Mindoro and Quezon
Doc Ferds has encountered sperm whales twice, both beached on the shore. The first was in Mamburao, Mindoro, and the second was in Quezon Province. The celebrity vet performed a necropsy on the 55-foot whale in Quezon, which required a chainsaw to cut through its thick blubber as well as a team of 30 to do the job.
Pangolins in Tondo
The alleged carrier of CoViD-19 was spotted by Doc Ferds two years ago, feeding on termites in a vacant lot in Tondo. The mammal, which coils its body to defend itself, is covered in hard scales made of keratin—the same material of animal horns and human fingernails. Doc Ferds suspects it was meant for sale but escaped from its captors. After examining it, he and the crew turned it over to the Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau. (Read: What you can do to help save the most trafficked mammal in the world)
Manta Ray in Sorsogon
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Doc @ferdzrecio will be diving in this waters, just to see me! Yes. That's right, I'm that special. ✨ So, you better watch out for me this Sunday, ka-Born! #BornToBeWild #travelgram #animalkingdom #natureza #nature #beautifulnature #explore #adventure #wildlife #instago #travelling #bestoftheday #traveldiary #picoftheday #inspiration #wildlifephotography #wild #animals #nature #outdoors #naturelovers #cuteanimals #wildlifeplanet #awesomeearth #underwaterphotography #underwater
In his attempt to remove a string embedded in the skin of a manta ray sighted deep in the waters of Ticao Pass, Sorsogon, Doc Ferds stayed underwater longer than he should. Thankfully, a divemaster came to his aid with oxygen!
Philippine Eagle in Bukidnon
Doc Ferds has already seen them in captivity, but the 6-month-old Pamarayeg was the first Philippine Eagle he’s sighted in the wild. Living at the time in the dense Cinchona Forest of Bukidnon, Pamarayeg was preparing to fledge (or fly) to its new home. (Read: There’s a Plan B for saving our Philippine Eagles—and it just might work!)
“For one Philippine Eagle to survive in the wild, it needs 7,000 hectares of intact forest,” says Doc Ferds. “So when conservationists protect the Philippine Eagle, they are also protecting our forests.”
Born to be Wild has had countless episodes on these creatures, but did you know they are Doc Ferds’ biggest fear? The phobia began in childhood when a snake crawled between his feet while he and his friends were playing. “We all froze,” he recalls. “But I have to overcome my fear because I work with them and treat them.”