Rescued PH eagle released back into the wild on day of Cimatu’s confirmation

After months in quarantine, a young male Philippine eagle was released back into the wild during a simple ceremony held at the Aurora Memorial National Park in Aurora province last Wednesday afternoon.

The juvenile eagle was able to fly back to its natural habitat shortly after the powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) voted unanimously to approve the nomination of Roy A. Cimatu as Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

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 Dr. Rizza Salinas and the Philippine Eagle Foundation headed by Forester Ron Taraya in releasing the eagle that was found at a forested area in San Luis town in June last year.

Cimatu was elated upon learning that the eagle’s release coincided with his confirmation as DENR chief, calling it a “symbol of renewed start of my stint in the DENR as a full-fledged secretary.”

Sometime in June last year, 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.

According to BMB Director Theresa Mundita Lim, the quarantine lasted until last February as they had to conduct further investigation to determine the fowl’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, who is a licensed veterinarian, said that during the quarantine they also conducted 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 listed as critically endangered mainly due to the loss of its habitat. ###