Quake survivor to hand over his rescued eagle because “we lack food”

KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews / 12 November) — A farmer who rescued a Philippine Serpent Eagle in the mountains of Magsaysay, Davao del Sur in August, is set to turn over the bird to the Wildlife Refuge Center in Digos City because “we lack food here so I can’t feed the eagle.”

Marlon Ceballos of the 505 Disaster Response on Emergencies, Assistance and Management (DREAM) said they spotted the eagle in the hands of a quake survivor whose house in Barangay Bacungan in Magsaysay was among those destroyed by last month’s strong quakes and aftershocks.

Ceballos said he convinced the farmer whom he called Manong, to hand over the Philippine Serpent Eagle (Spilornis holospilus) to the Wildlife Refuge Center in Digos City, Davao del Sur for proper handling and care.

He said Manong told him he has no capacity anymore to feed the eagle. “We lack food here so I can’t feed the eagle.  I think it’s a better idea to hand over the bird to authorities,” Ceballos quoted Manong as saying.

Ceballos’ group has sought the help of the Wildlife Rescue Center and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region XI to rescue the eagle from the farmer.

The Philippine serpent eagle is endemic to the country and can be found in forest clearings, open woodlands, and cultivated lands with scattered trees.

It eats snakes and lizards and could grow to at least 47 to 53 centimeters tall with a wingspan of 105-120 centimeters.

BirdLife International, a global partnership of conservation organizations that strives to conserve birds, estimated the number of mature serpent eagles all over the world at 10,000.  (Malu Cadelina-Manar/ MindaNews)