Marble extracted from rescued Philippine eagle

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 23 January) — A veterinarian at the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) here removed a piece of marble embedded near the right clavicle of the male Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) rescued last January 8 in Barangay Ticulab, Maitum town in Sarangani province.

X-ray shows marble embedded near the right clavicle of the Philippine Eagle rescued in Maitum, Sarangani on January 8, 2021. The marble has been removed. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Eagle Foundation

The PEC announced on Friday that veterinarian Dr. Ana Lascano and other animal keepers performed the surgery to extract the marble that may have been used as a bullet by a hunter in the past.

A T’boli farmer found the raptor, aged three to five, trapped amid thorny rattan vines after hunting a monkey in a forested area near Salagbanog Falls last January 8.

Philippine Eagle rescued by a T’boli farmer in Barangay Ticulab, Maitum, Sarangani on Friday, 08 January 2021. Photo courtesy of Joylyn Ty

Dennis Salvador, Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) executive director, urged the Philippine National Police to classify “marble” guns as firearms and should be declared illegal.

He said a similar weapon killed three-year old Philippine eagle “Pamana” who was found dead on August 16, 2015, only two months after it was released on June 12 in Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Davao Oriental province.

“This (marble gun) was what killed eagle Pamana and could have killed this eagle, too,” he said.

Marble extracted by a team from the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao City from the body of the Philippine Eagle rescued from Maitum, Sarangani on January 8, 2021. Photo courtesy of the Philippine Eagle Foundation

Republic Act No. 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act prohibits hunting of wildlife.

Enacted in 2001, the law seeks “to conserve and protect wildlife species and their habitats to promote ecological balance and enhance biological diversity; to regulate collection and trade of wildlife; to pursue, with due regard to the national interest, the Philippine commitment to international conventions, protection of wildlife and their habitats; and to initiate or support scientific studies on the conservation of biological diversity.  (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)