Concerned residents rescued a distressed Philippine Eagle in the waters of Sarangani Bay while reportedly flying back to the shores.
Cornelio Ramirez, executive director of the Sarangani Environmental Protection and Conservation Center (EPCC), said on Saturday the eagle was retrieved off the shores of Sitio Dampilan, Barangay Lumatil in Maasim town of Sarangani province.
He said the eagle reportedly fell into the water after taking off from a boat anchored around 600 meters seaward.
“Concerned residents rescued the eagle and turned it over to the Maasim Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO),” he said.
Maasim MENRO head Alejandra Sison then relayed the matter to the EPCC for the proper handling of the eagle.
Ramirez said they turned it over to the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) on Saturday upon the instruction of Sarangani Gov. Steve Chiongbian Solon.
A report released on Sunday by the Sarangani Communications Service said the eagle, which weighed 5.185 kilos, was reportedly observed to be flying around fishing boats in the area for three days.
Ali Kamal, 75, a resident of Sitio Dampilan said they rescued the bird around 2 p.m. last Friday after noticing that it could no longer fly back to the shore.
Dr. Jayson C. Ibañez, PEF research and conservation director, said during initial assessment by their rescue team, the bird was “suspected to be an adult female.”
He said the closest possible habitat of the eagle is the forest of Mt. Busa in Maasim town.
“As our standard procedure for rescued eagles, the bird will undergo X-ray to see any bone or internal injuries and possible gun pellets embedded inside the bird’s body. Blood samples will also be drawn to measure basic blood values, for DNA sexing, and for disease screening,” Ibañez said in the report.
He said swabs of bodily fluids will also be drawn to test the bird for avian flu and new castle disease.
Ibañez said the eagle will be kept and rehabilitated at the PEF quarantine facility in Davao City.
The eagle was the second to have been rescued in Sarangani province in the last few years.
A juvenile Philippine Eagle was found on January 2, 2017 in Barangay Batian, Maitum town, which is within Mt. Busa complex.
Mt. Busa is a declared key biodiversity area and an important bird area, and home to critically endangered, threatened, vulnerable and rare bird species. (PNA)