Philippine Eagle rescued in Siocon to be transferred to Tukuran if deemed fit to travel

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 19 April) – A Philippine Eagle rescued in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte on Thursday will be transferred to the Department of Environment and Natural Resource’s Wildlife Rescue Center in Baclay, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur after it has been tested for Avian Flu and Newcastle  Disease and is deemed fit to travel.

The eagle was rescued in Barangay Bulacan, Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte by farmer Nito Bigog who reported it to his barangay chair, Romeo Dumencil, according to a press release of the DENR Region 9 (Zamboanga Peninsula) on Thursday.

It said the eagle was “discovered trapped in the grassland of the barangay by Bigog” who rescued it and reported it to Dumencil who accompanied him to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) even as the town is under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and movements are restricted.

Philippine Eagle rescued in Siocon, Zambonaga del Norte on Thursday, 16 April 2020. Photo courtesy of DENR Zamboanga Peninsula

The DENR regional office said that based on initial assessment of the Eagle Watch Team of CENRO Siocon, the eagle “has no signs of injury and considered to be in good condition.”

The bird weighed around 3.5 kg.  and was placed in a cage “for further observation and health assessment before its release back to the wild.”

DENR Regional Executive Director Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez thanked Dumencil for attending to the eagle even as he is busy attending to the needs of his constituents during this time of  COVID-19.

Winnie Abayon-Cariazo, Info Officer II at the DENR regional office, told MindaNews on Saturday that farmer Bigog “discovered the eagle trapped in a grassland area that has a bushy portion where it got entangled for the reason that it was chasing after a prey.”

She said the rescued eagle was turned over to the CENRO Siocon in a cage.

Cariazo said the DENR regional office has coordinated with the resident veterinarian of the Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory (RADDL) through the Department of Agriculture in Region 9 to conduct an assessment on the physical condition of the eagle.

Philippine Eagle rescued in Siocon, Zamboanga del Norte. Photo courtesy of DENR Zamboanga Peninsula

“Consequently, it will be subjected to H5N6 Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza and Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV) test,” she said, adding that after submission of the RADDL laboratory report on the H5N6 and NDV tests and that office has certified that the eagle is fit to travel, it will be immediately transferred to the DENR 9 Wildlife Rescue Center located at Baclay, Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur where they have the “holding facilities and trained personnel on the proper handling of wildlife.”

Tukuran is 265.3 kilometers away from Siocon, a five-hour travel by land transport.   (MindaNews).