A Philippine Eagle was on Monday released back to his forest home in the Saranggani mountains, joining the rest of the critically endangered population in the fight against extinction.
For the male raptor named Salagbanog, it was the end of an 18-month long captivity to fully recover from a wing injury that was inflicted by poachers in Mt. Busa, the home of a Philippine Eagle sub-population.
Found trapped among rattan vines near Salagbanog Falls on Jan. 8, 2021 by a T’boli farmer, the eagle was turned over to a conservation group for treatment and protection. His name was later changed to Sarangani Eagle.
"Sarangani Eagle flies free! What a way to cap off #PhEagleWeek2022! But this is only a beginning of his journey back in his forest home. We hope that with the help of our partners, the LGU, and the local community, we can give Sarangani Eagle a lasting freedom," the PEF said in a statement on Facebook.
The Philippines' national bird, also called the Monkey-Eating Eagle, is critically endangered or just two steps away from extinction. Data from the International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN shows there are just 180 to 500 such raptors left and their population is decreasing.
Sarangani Eagle's release was arranged under a partnership with Alsons Power Group, a private power generator operating in the area that will provide material and personnel support to the Philippine Eagle Foundation for activities geared toward the community's species and forest conservation, a press release said.
Alsons Power will also provided funding and logistical support for the tracking and protection of Sarangani Eagle for the next three years, it added.