Philippines probes death of rare eagle released in wild
AFPMANILA--Wildlife authorities said Saturday they are investigating the death of a rare Philippine eagle, one of the world's largest and most endangered raptors, shortly after it was captured by a local resident.
October 20, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
The carcass of the giant bird, belonging to a species that is threatened with extinction, was recovered from a resident of Gingoog city on the southern island of Mindanao, the Philippine Eagle Foundation said.
It had only been released into the wild by conservationists two months earlier.
“Minalwang (the name given to the bird by the foundation) was captured. The bird died of infection that had been aggravated by its captivity,” the foundation's communications officer Beauxy Auxtero told AFP.
She would not discuss the cause of the infection, nor comment on a statement by a government wildlife official that the eagle, a juvenile male, had been shot to death.
Auxtero said the Gingoog resident who had captured the bird had not been placed under arrest.
The bird had two bullet wounds, Josie de Leon, wildlife resources division chief of the environment department's Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau, told AFP earlier Saturday.
Killing endangered species in the Philippines is punishable by a 12-year prison term and stiff fines, she added.
“Our people are gathering information on who might have killed it,” de Leon said.
The young male was believed to be less than a year old when it was captured for the first time by another Gingoog resident in 2011, Auxtero said.
The foundation, a non-government outfit based in the Mindanao city of Davao, retrieved the bird from the resident and nursed it back to health.