First rare RP eagle born
in captivity dies after release
By Agence France-Presse
DAVAO--The first of a rare species of Philippine eagle to be born and raised in captivity was fatally electrocuted nine months after being released into the wild, an eagle foundation said Wednesday.
The body of the 25-month-old bird, released into a nature preserve near the southern city of Davao in April, was found on Saturday, said the Philippine Eagle Foundation, which had raised the bird.
It had died from electrocution after perching on a power line, foundation spokeswoman Noreen Quiblat said.
The bird, named Kabayan, was a rare species of eagle also known as the monkey-eating eagle that is found only in the Philippines. The eagles are among the largest in the world and are the national symbol of this country.
Experts say there may only be 500 pairs of the birds left in the Philippines as deforestation has robbed them of their natural habitat.
The bird was hatched and raised by the foundation just outside the southern city of Davao sponsored by Philippine Vice President Noli de Castro.
De Castro said he hoped the death of the bird would not be a setback in efforts to preserve the species.
"For me, I am more than eager to sponsor another eagle and to finally see more Philippine eagles in the wild," the vice president said.
The eagle's body will be sent to Manila for preservation, Quiblat said.