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Riverside Reptiles
07-08-2011, 02:57 PM
Please read this article. These wonderful geckos DO NOT cure aids or cancer. For those of you that come to this site looking for advice on how to fatten up your tokay just so you can sell it to be killed, PLEASE stop.

Health secretary debunks rumors of gecko cancer cure | The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online (http://www.mb.com.ph/articles/325793/health-secretary-debunks-rumors-gecko-cancer-cure)


Health secretary debunks rumors of gecko cancer cure
July 7, 2011, 12:38pm
DUMAGUETE CITY, Philippines (PNA) -– Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Enrique Ona on Tuesday said there is no scientific finding that geckos, locally known as “tuko”, can cure cancer, AIDS or other diseases as claimed by people who are spreading its supposed healing power.

Ona, who issued his statement while in Dumaguete on Tuesday, expressed surprise over the sudden emergence of rumors about geckos in the country in recent months.

Ona described it as “funny, but it is true, not only in the Philippines but in other countries that when certain sickness strikes, before you know it, our grandparents already have solutions, that’s why we call them grandmother’s tale,” he said.

He stressed there is absolutely no basis for that perception or belief, as he urged the people to stop believing in such myths.

Reports have it that certain businessmen from Manila are in Negros Oriental to buy geckos weighing 300 grams and above, which has prompted even children to skip classes to hunt for these types of reptile and that even small ones are being caged, fed with ****roach with the belief that they will grow to the buyers’ desired weight.

Community Environment and Natural Resources Officer (CENROP 2) Mario Aragon said the geckos are natural predators of ****roaches and other insects and are not supposed to be extracted.

He said violators may face sanctions under applicable laws, particularly the wildlife protection law.

thehotchik1000
07-08-2011, 03:39 PM
Yes from what I have seen it is illegal to hunt the tokays. Thank you Ethan for posting this. I'm happy that government officials are stepping up for a native reptile. They should be protected. I think far too much damage has been done already by the tokay genocide.


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Riverside Reptiles
07-12-2011, 11:53 PM
More info on this subject:
DENR warns public vs illegal catching, selling of tuko - Nation - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News (http://www.gmanews.tv/story/226042/nation/denr-warns-public-vs-illegal-catching-selling-of-tuko)

AFP: Jail warning to save Philippine geckos (http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hIhOsD7Qv0Y6bIzCJim0vZGR0cXw?docId=CNG.1a520 310fd53287b78bc3c012e7eae10.f1)

Elizabeth Freer
07-17-2011, 07:13 PM
Using Gecko to Treat AIDS May Put Patients at Risk | French Tribune (http://www.frenchtribune.com/teneur/116213-using-gecko-treat-aids-may-put-patients-risk)


Thanks, Herve......

norea
07-20-2011, 10:31 AM
heh... i knew it was all a scam but too bad where i stay, people are taking advantage of the price and are catching and selling them in bulks... very sad sight i must add...

Riverside Reptiles
08-05-2011, 04:20 PM
Another article about the lengths these people will go to in order to make some cash off of these poor geckos: Beware of 'silicone' geckos (http://news.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Malaysia/Story/A1Story20110803-292416.html)

norea
08-05-2011, 10:26 PM
yes i think i mention that in another thread

J.P.
09-05-2011, 06:07 AM
it's a shame that many in my country are involved in this crazy stuff. i have witnessed so many sad stories. some guys catching dozens of geckos, some even pregnant. then, since these guys expect a quick sell, they do not bother to study how to take care of their geckos. the dozens of poor geckos cramped in tiny containers go hungry, thirsty, can't shed properly, lay eggs everywhere, they fight, etc. overall, the conditions are what would be included on a "don't do list". very terrible. i hope the hunters realize that it is just a big scam and they stop wasting their time and effort hunting the tokay. many people who know that i have tokay ask me why i do not try the million dollar game, they do not believe me when i say it's just all a big scam. there really is no buyer, so the hunters end up having a lot sick geckos.

Elizabeth Freer
09-05-2011, 08:09 AM
it's a shame that many in my country are involved in this crazy stuff. i have witnessed so many sad stories. some guys catching dozens of geckos, some even pregnant. then, since these guys expect a quick sell, they do not bother to study how to take care of their geckos. the dozens of poor geckos cramped in tiny containers go hungry, thirsty, can't shed properly, lay eggs everywhere, they fight, etc. overall, the conditions are what would be included on a "don't do list". very terrible. i hope the hunters realize that it is just a big scam and they stop wasting their time and effort hunting the tokay. many people who know that i have tokay ask me why i do not try the million dollar game, they do not believe me when i say it's just all a big scam. there really is no buyer, so the hunters end up having a lot sick geckos.


Hi J. P. ~

Many thanks for sharing! Your post is especially significant because you live right there and even have tokays :). Somehow I wish that you could be a spokesperson for those in the Philippines who believe this scam!

J.P.
09-05-2011, 11:20 PM
i'm sad to say that i am but a small voice, whenever i can i do give advice to hunters and sellers that i encounter personally, but there are hundreds out there that i can't reach.

before i was content to just keep tokays, but now with the added pressure on their population, i plan to breed them and release the juvies in remote places. i am an avid fisherman, so i go to places where "normal" people do not go. hopefully, my tokays will be left undisturbed in the remote environments. at least for few years, just until this tokay craze dies down.

my government is also doing something about the tokay mania, i have heard of some arrests being made, so that is a good sign. i hope the other hunters/sellers learn from the example.

Riverside Reptiles
09-06-2011, 11:11 AM
What is sad is the huge influx of people coming on these forums looking for information on how to "make their geckos fat". This has caused many of us (myself included) to choose to not offer or share advice to members from the Philippines because they are most likely just going to use the advice to make their geckos fatter just be sold off and killed. Most of us here don't want any part of helping with that.

Will3
09-06-2011, 09:48 PM
Those "persons" make me sick, i hope the goverment do something reeeally drastic, jail isn't enough

J.P.
09-07-2011, 09:22 PM
What is sad is the huge influx of people coming on these forums looking for information on how to "make their geckos fat". Most of us here don't want any part of helping with that.

don't worry about that ethan, no matter how fat their tokays get, chances are, it will never reach the "magic" weight, and if by some freak of nature it does, there really is no buyer who will pay the incredible amounts. LOL. i've been into tokays and other herps since i was a kid, so i know my way around the underground market. the hard-core wildlife traffickers just laugh at this crazy story. but the great number of amateur dealers posting their ads selling/buying tokays in the internet is really alarming. greed is a really powerful thing. poverty is not the reason, because most of the people who are involved in this are middle class, they have money to purchase geckos from the hunters, and they hope to turn their investment into a fortune.

the good thing i see about this. some start the tokay hobby with a shady intention, but end up genuinely liking their tokay pets.

WStan
09-08-2011, 10:45 AM
I'm in Malaysia, and no, I'm not seeking info to feed my tokay so I can sell it for AIDS cure/cancer cure/Chinese medicine/anti-flatulence remedy. :p

But Tokaymania has taken foot here. I believe it will get worse in coming months, as more people find out about it. A few colleagues in my office know already. I hear from them stories of kids skipping school to catch geckos (they are paid US200 per gecko by middlemen who want to resell at higher price), and a gecko-show that was recently set up not far from my my office.

Thing is, most of these offers are actually scams. Details below on how they work:

Tuko Gecko Scam | Tj's Daily! (http://tjsdaily.blogspot.com/2011/07/tuko-gecko-scam.html?showComment=1315490173441#c8166290670588 572947)

There are cases where supposed deals are really robberies. Bad guy offers gecko for sale at lower price, mark accepts and agrees to meet with cash. Bad guy shows up with guns and goons, no gecko, and takes money.

There are of course, some who buy tokays at an insanely high price (compared to what you can buy in your US pet store), to raise and hoping to sell at even more insane prices when they mature. Problem is, when your gecko reaches the desired rate, there is no genuine buyer.

Reminds me of the Tulip Mania in the Netherlands. And trust me, this Tokaymania will one day pop. I find this ironic for two reasons..

- the Tulip Mania and its effects was explained by Gordon GECKO in the movie Wall Street II

- in Malaysia, there's a local saying 'holding a live lizard'. It means, doing something that does not bring benefit. When the Tokaymania bubble bursts, lots of people will be burnt and left holding tokay geckos worth much less than what they invested

norea
09-08-2011, 11:05 AM
But Tokaymania has taken foot here. I believe it will get worse in coming months, as more people find out about it. A few colleagues in my office know already. I hear from them stories of kids skipping school to catch geckos (they are paid US200 per gecko by middlemen who want to resell at higher price), and a gecko-show that was recently set up not far from my my office.



it was a mania like few months back already...

txrock7
09-08-2011, 12:03 PM
That is just crazy. Would that be why petsmart and petco have had more tokay's lately?

missiechrissie
09-08-2011, 02:08 PM
It never ceases to amaze me what ppl are willing to belief!:roll:
I read an article in a south african newspaper a few weeks ago, that evil witches lure innocent men into giving them a ride, then, once they reach the middle of no where, they show their true faces and rape the men so to "collect" the sperm.....this is the official explanation for men found dead in cars, pants down and front of car rammed into trees and what not. (those "poor" men :crackup:)
My point is, if you are desperate enough, even the most twisted story seems probable, or at least, you CHOOSE for it to seem probable.
Sad how ,at this day and age, its still the few ruining it for the many. I guess you cant really blame the ppl who catch the animals, for them its a means to and end, its just hard to remember that, when you hear of abused animals, it is often those hiding in the shadows that control things. Lack of info is a great way to remain in control and vice versa!
At least they chose the Tokay- I bet a lot gets bitten:coverlaugh:

J.P.
09-11-2011, 09:18 PM
At least they chose the Tokay- I bet a lot gets bitten:coverlaugh:

good one!!!!
:crackup:
:rofl:

gizmo143
09-11-2011, 09:39 PM
I had no idea this was going on!
ugh... poor lil geckos
and silicone?!
hope more goverment action occurs :?

Riverside Reptiles
11-16-2011, 04:43 PM
Just another new article about this:

Asian gecko at risk over claims it can cure AIDS - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/asian-gecko-risk-over-claims-cure-aids-063643367.html)

Elizabeth Freer
11-16-2011, 06:04 PM
:-(

Hope for CITES protection and stiff penalties for trafficing "stiff" geckos.

norea
11-16-2011, 07:03 PM
The geckos, popular as pets in Asia, have long been used as traditional medicine for illnesses such as diabetes, asthma, skin disease and cancer, the report said. Their carcasses are dried up and ground into powder for consumption. In some parts of Asia, Tokay wine or whisky is consumed to boost energy.

can they really with those illnesses...

photowildz
03-01-2012, 02:34 AM
Apparently there is some evidence (that tokay extract does treat things like diabetes asthma etc), maybe more than there is for rhino horn for example. BUT, the frustrating thing is that whether its true or not doesnt really matter. What matters is that people believe it, ridiculous (to most of us) or not. The hard thing is convincing people of this.....Check out this article

Penyelundupan 6,75 Ton Tokek Kering Digagalkan | Republika Online (http://www.republika.co.id/berita/regional/nusantara/11/11/07/luahvj-penyelundupan-675-ton-tokek-kering-digagalkan)

Nearly7 tons of dried tokays going to Hong Kong, and thats just one shipment form one range state.....its bloody scary.

Syn
11-27-2012, 03:20 PM
I run a fan page for Tokay Geckos on facebook as well as a website. I made a QR code to this thread and will be using your links posted for information regarding how tokays shouldn't be sold for medicine.

Thank you for the info!

Riverside Reptiles
04-18-2013, 04:00 PM
New article. Not much new info, but I figured that I'd post it up just because it's a fresh reminder of how important it is for us to keep working on establishing a good, healthy, sustainable captive breeding mind set here in the US.

Asian Gecko Threatened By Medicine Trade: TRAFFIC | The Jakarta Globe (http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/asian-gecko-threatened-by-medicine-trade-traffic/585030)

Riverside Reptiles
04-18-2013, 04:00 PM
New article. Not much new info, but I figured that I'd post it up just because it's a fresh reminder of how important it is for us to keep working on establishing a good, healthy, sustainable captive breeding mind set here in the US.

Asian Gecko Threatened By Medicine Trade: TRAFFIC | The Jakarta Globe (http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/asian-gecko-threatened-by-medicine-trade-traffic/585030)

Fenix
07-08-2013, 09:14 PM
Hey, haven't been posting on here in a while but this is just ridiculous and just thought I would share with everyone.

Boy strangled over sharing money from gecko sale (http://www.thedailystar.net/beta2/news/boy-strangled-over-sharing-money-from-gecko-sale/)

Heinz
10-19-2013, 11:19 PM
The tokay is not the only reptile going thru this .
for 30 years I have worked with . Varanus Albigularus the White Throat Monitor
In Tanzania they woud capture a gravid female and so from time to time a few would showe up in the states . but 5 years ago the same myth your seeing with tokays hit Varanus Albigularus
Tanzania has shut down and there are few found in there native range .
somthing needs to be done ..

aquamentus_11
10-20-2013, 07:48 AM
New article. Not much new info, but I figured that I'd post it up just because it's a fresh reminder of how important it is for us to keep working on establishing a good, healthy, sustainable captive breeding mind set here in the US.

Asian Gecko Threatened By Medicine Trade: TRAFFIC | The Jakarta Globe (http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/news/asian-gecko-threatened-by-medicine-trade-traffic/585030)

Why have the leopard gecko and bearded dragon been so successfully established as purely captive bred populations in the pet trade? I know Australia shut down exportation of beardies years ago, but what about leopard geckos? Were they that much more expensive than tokays when they were still being shipped over?

aquamentus_11
10-20-2013, 07:50 AM
I know nothing about the clutch sizes or breeding frequency of these species, btw

billewicz
10-22-2013, 11:28 PM
Besides all the hype from the possible cures and powerful aphrodisiac that Tokay possess, they are revered as a status symbol as a pet in China. The new wealth that China enjoys in the last several years has also driven up prices especially for visual morphs. Few outside of China are willing to pay high-end Ball Python prices for wild caught Tokay morphs.

Even normals exported out of the Philippines recently had an asking price of $150 each from a Florida wholesaler. (Really nice normals from Vietnam are never over $5, wholesale and about a buck from Indonesia in wholesale quantities.) And of coarse these same normals are collected and eaten by the millions each year throughout Indochina.

Like any contraband, the illegal status of hunting and possessing Tokay in several countries will also drive up prices in the legal trade as well because it creates a bigger demand.

Riverside Reptiles
10-30-2013, 12:46 PM
Why have the leopard gecko and bearded dragon been so successfully established as purely captive bred populations in the pet trade? I know Australia shut down exportation of beardies years ago, but what about leopard geckos? Were they that much more expensive than tokays when they were still being shipped over?

Because they breed like mice. And they have mild temperaments. Same with crested geckos. However, we're starting to see over the years the effects of the massive amount of constant inbreeding resulting from smaller and smaller gene pools. If tokays acted and bred like crested geckos, there would be millions of cbb tokays on the market too.

billewicz
03-30-2014, 02:04 PM
So, we've seen a lot of interesting folklore and misinformation as to what good Tokay are to human research. Here's a tidbit of some interest noted by Backwater Reptiles in their trivia section:

A recent article detailed how NASA has used in-depth studies of the Tokay gecko's foot pads to help create better robots, spacesuits, and potentially even...Spiderman gloves! If all the toe-pad hairs (called "spatulae") were in contact with a surface simultaneously, a single gecko could support over 300 pounds on the side of a wall. The tiny hairs, not even visible, create temporary atomic bonds with the surface, called "Van Der Waals force." Scientists at MIT believe this binding technology could eventually replace the need for medical sutures and tissue attachment.

billewicz
03-30-2014, 02:08 PM
Link to Popular Science online piece: Gecko Tech | Popular Science (http://www.popsci.com/scitech/article/2008-04/gecko-tech)

billewicz
04-09-2014, 12:26 AM
OK, Ladies and Gentlemen,

This report is the most comprehensive study I've seen to date on Tokay harvesting, trafficking, trade and exports. Anybody that has an interest in this tread would marvel at the information collected here in.

You can go to the site and scroll down to open the full report as a pdf: TRAFFIC - Wildlife Trade News - AIDS cure rumours short-lived: Tokay Geckos mainly traded for traditional medicine, finds new*study (http://www.traffic.org/home/2013/4/11/aids-cure-rumours-short-lived-tokay-geckos-mainly-traded-for.html)

Or go to the Open Publication here: ISSUU - The Trade in Tokay Geckos in South-East Asia by Richard Thomas (http://issuu.com/richard_traffic/docs/traffic_species_reptiles35)

ford mustang enthusiast
06-20-2014, 02:33 PM
I hate to say it, but it sounds like one of those "miracle elixer" kinda deals you see in an old western cartoon or movie where some con artist gets away with selling a remedy for blindness or some incurable ailment. Just an a$$hole's get rich quick scheme that has grown grossly out of proportion.

billewicz
06-20-2014, 04:58 PM
Back in school we did a whole semester in chemistry on "Quack Medicines and Why they Worked".

Underneath all of the 'Snake Oil Salesmanship' were basic elixirs that in many cases are still the foundation for remedies today. Alcohol, sugar, stimulants, sedatives, carbonation, etc. The difference today is that most of these are synthetically produced instead of distilled from a root, bark or leaf.

Traditional medicine in China and parts East has a 3000 year history in proven results. Prior to Western influences the Chinese rarely saw cancer, heart disease or stroke.

So Tokay have been used in traditional medicine all that time and TM continues to be the major consumer of animals harvested each year. So when pharmaceuticals where researching these properties of Tokay, the price of Tokay went up. And yes, getting 'rich' quick is almost every mans' dream, but consider the broken economy of Indonesia. Like a lot of African countries where it is every man for himself, and little or no enforceable law, Indonesia is not much different. What starts as a way to earn a weeks wages in one sale, escalates until you have middlemen jacking the price to see what the limit is. At least they are not killing a rhino or elephant who's populations cannot sustain the slaughter. Millions of Tokay are taken each year just for human food with little alarm to C.I.T.E.S.

The report in the link above addresses some of this. All of this effects the pet trade on pricing and availability. The report notes that this trend toward sales to big pharma is tapering off. That's good for us. Rare morphs are still prized as status symbols in China and Chinese collectors continue to purchase most of them from Indonesian harvesters.

They are willing, and now able to pay a premium for these better morphs while the market in the US is still not willing to match the current price levels.

So the Indonesians are willing to provide a service, harvesting wild Tokay from the jungle, and sell and ship that product live, to the world. Some people will pay $10,000 for a rare Tokay and most will not. Some will see this as an exceptional opportunity to enjoy one of natures rarities and some will see a con artist getting rich quick.

ford mustang enthusiast
06-28-2014, 11:07 AM
Very true. Honestly I wasn't aware that tokays were used traditional Chinese medicine. I thought the "miracle aids cure" rumor was what led to the inflation of said geckos in SE Asia and was under the impression that the wild tokay population was dwindling. In another article, I had read that owning a unique or very rare morph of tokay was supposed to be like a status symbol (similar to owning an expensive watch or european luxury car) and that some people pay a hefty sum to own them.

billewicz
06-28-2014, 12:09 PM
This is from a recent Traffic publication, 2013

The Trade in Tokay Geckos
Gekko gecko in South-East Asia: with a
case study on Novel Medicinal Claims
in Peninsular Malaysia
Olivier S. Caillabet
(2013).
TRAFFIC, Petaling Jaya, Selangor,
Malaysia

"In Indonesia, Tokay Geckos are not protected; however, a harvest quota of 50 000 individuals is in place. Ten percent of this quota (5000 individuals) is for local consumption with the remainder (45 000) for export. These may only be harvested from specific provinces or districts designated by the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI) (Siswomartono, 1998 ) and collection outside of these areas or surplus to the specified volume is not permitted.

There are 23 designated Tokay Gecko collection areas in Indonesia. Java has the largest Tokay Gecko harvest quota of 24 000 individuals, with the remaining harvest divided between the islands of Bali.

The purpose of harvest (e.g. for medicine, as pets etc.) is also specified within the quota and according to the quota in place for Tokay Geckos, only live animals destined for the pet trade may be exported."

The traditional medicine market is huge in China. They also eat Tokay there as well. The legal limits noted above are probably not heavily enforced as the Tokay morphs that I was importing were culled from a company harvest for food processing. They claimed to collect 750,000 Tokay a year in Indonesia.