A MALE Philippine Eagle was released back into the wild during a ceremony held at the Aurora Memorial National Park in Aurora province last Wednesday, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said in a statement.
The Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is the largest bird of prey in the world. It can only be found in the Philippines and is the country’s national bird.
The DENR’s provincial environment and natural resources officer in Aurora, lawyer Ricardo Lazaro Jr., led present and former local officials of the agency, as well as representatives from the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), led by Dr. Rizza Salinas, and the Philippine Eagle Foundation, headed by forester Ron Taraya, in releasing the eagle rescued in a forested area in San Luis town in June last year.
In a statement, Cimatu described the release as a “symbol of the renewed start of my stint in the DENR as a full-fledged secretary”.
Sometime in June last year, then a still a fledging juvenile, the eagle was rescued from a trap intended for monkeys by an upland farmer and was later brought to the Wildlife Rescue Center in Quezon City for quarantine.
BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim said the quarantine lasted until last February as they had to conduct further investigation to determine the eagle’s origin.
“We were searching for the eagle’s original nest and parents. When it was unrecognized by its parents, we decided to acclimatize the bird in Aurora for its eventual release in this area,” Lim said.
Lim, a licensed veterinarian, said that, during the quarantine, they also conducted a health assessment, which involved some medical procedures.
“We performed health assessment during the quarantine, including bacterial and fungal isolation and examination,” Lim said.
The Philippine Eagle, more commonly known as the monkey-eating eagle, is an endemic bird species in the country and is listed as critically endangered mainly due to the loss of its habitats.