PH Eagle released back into Zambo Norte’s wild

Onlookers were in a festive mood as officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), assisted by Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) personnel, released a female Philippine Eagle back into the wild here.

The eagle, named “Godod,” was released around 10:30 a.m. Monday in an upland barangay here, Almario Caabay Jr. of the Provincial Environment and Resources Office (PENRO) said, is located 550 meters above sea level.

“Usually, we don’t reveal the location where we release a wildlife back to the natural habitat so as not to give an idea to the hunters,” Rosevirico Tan, DENR regional information officer, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.

Dr. Ernest Duldulao, DENR’s Regional Wildlife Rescue Center resident veterinarian, physically examined Godod before she was freed.

“She is healthy and ready to return to the wild,” he said.

Godod, before flying back to the wild, stood for several minutes on the wooden release platform and looked back, giving spectators an opportunity to have their last look at the eagle and take photographs and video.

The spectators included officials of the DENR headed by Ronald Gadot, assistant regional director for technical services, PEF personnel, and Godod Mayor Abel Matildo, among others.

Dionisio Rago, head of the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)-Liloy, said the eagle was named after the town since the bird was accidentally trapped and captured by a Subanen farmer on Dec. 5, 2021 in Sitio Makinaryas, Barangay Bunawan.

Rago said the wildlife was confirmed as a Philippine Eagle based on the photographs given to them by the Godod Municipal Tourism Office.

He said they immediately sent a team and retrieved the wildlife in coordination with the 44th Infantry Battalion on December 16 at the height of Typhoon Odette.

“Our retrieval team was able to bring down the eagle from the mountains at 5 a.m. of December 17 since they were stranded due to typhoon Odette,” Rago said.

“The eagle was weak, though physically fit,” Rago said, adding that the bird was properly examined by a veterinarian upon arrival at his office.

The eagle, which sustained a superficial injury on her left wing, was placed in a cage for rehabilitation at Rago’s office guided by their veterinarian and the PEF.

Godod, while under rehabilitation, was fed daily by only forest ranger one Gersel Rafols to limit her interaction with humans. Daily she consumed one-fourth kilo of meat.

“Her interaction with only one person was part of the preparation in sending her back to the wild,” Rago said.

Ronald Gadot, assistant regional director for technical services, said the area where the eagle was caught indicated that the place was rich in biodiversity as the forest was vast and intact.

Gadot said the Philippine Eagle is territorial and the span of their territory is at least 10,000 hectares of forest.

“They have a territorial area,” Gadot added.

He said there are only an estimated 400 pairs of Philippine Eagle in the country and the Zamboanga Peninsula (Region 9) has four eagle monitoring stations.

The four areas where Philippine Eagles are monitored in the region include the towns of Baliguian and Godod, Midsalip in Zamboanga del Sur, and, the Pasonanca Natural Park in Zamboanga City.

“We are proud of Zamboanga Peninsula that we have monitored four pairs of (Philippine) eagle that are soaring high in our forest showing the region has a rich biodiversity,” Gadot said.

He urged the upland community, especially the indigenous peoples, to help the government protect the Philippine Eagle.

The DENR officials said Philippine Eagle can only be found in the Sierra Madre in Luzon, Samar, and Mindanao.

Source: Philippines News Agency

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