The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) rescued a Philippine eagle at Sitio Balmar, Nabaliwa, Pangantucan, Bukidnon, on February 25, 2024, after it had been shot twice by air guns.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) rescued a Philippine eagle at Sitio Balmar, Nabaliwa, Pangantucan, Bukidnon, on February 25, 2024, after it had been shot twice by air guns.Philippine Eagle Foundation

Shot Philippine eagle rescued

THE Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) rescued a Philippine eagle at Sitio Balmar, Nabaliwa, Pangantucan, Bukidnon, on February 25, 2024, after it had been shot twice by air guns.

Dr. Jayson Ibañez, PEF's director of operations, wrote Henry Adronado, the regional executive director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Davao Region (DENR-Davao), seeking their endorsement and support in lobbying for action against those responsible for harming the eagle.

“Air guns continue to imperil the life of our national bird. These weapons are not covered by the country’s Firearm Law, and sale and trade of it go on unregulated, more eagles and wildlife are under a grave threat,” Ibañez said. 

The eagle, subsequently named Kalatungan, was discovered weakened and ensnared in a vine on February 24, 2024. 

Local communities sought assistance from various organizations, including Bantay sa Yutang Kabilin (BYK), Nagkahiusnag Manunubung Manununod sa Yutang Kabilin (Namamayuk), Xavier Science Foundation, and PEF. 

A response team from the foundation was mobilized to rescue the distressed eagle.

Following a successful rescue, Kalatungan underwent an examination, revealing that it was a juvenile, likely less than two years old and probably male. 

Weighing around 3.45 kilograms, the eagle was dehydrated and had not eaten for days.

X-rays conducted at a clinic disclosed two embedded pellets in Kalatungan's body, suggesting the shooting had occurred months earlier. 

Immediate surgery was performed to remove the pellets, and blood and samples were collected for further analysis.  Kalatungan was then transferred to the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) in Malagos, Davao City.

Ibañez said that Kalatungan is the 19th eagle rescued and admitted to PEC for medical purposes since 2019, marking the ninth victim of the eagle shooting. 

He underscored that most of these incidents involve airguns, which currently lack regulation under Republic Act 10591, also known as the "Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act."

Bukidnon has seen three cases of Philippine Eagles falling victim to airguns since 2019, with Tagoyaman Fernando in 2020 and Sinabadan being previous cases. RGP

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