T’boli farmer rescues Philippine Eagle in Maitum, Sarangani

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 09 January) – On the day the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) announced the death of the first captive bred eagle Pag-asa on Friday,  a Philippine Eagle trapped in thorny rattan vines after it preyed on a monkey in the hinterlands of Maitum in Sarangani was rescued by a T’boli farmer and as of Saturday noon was on its way to the Philippine Eagle Center in this city.

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

Joylyn Ty, Community Development Information Officer of Maitum, told MindaNews  on Saturday that T’boli farmer Mang Gamang was in Salagbanog Falls in Barangay Ticulab, Maitum at around 2 p.m. on Friday when he noticed a monkey up in the tree being chased by a huge eagle. The monkey was caught and eaten by the eagle but the latter got trapped in the rattan vines.  She said the farmer rescued the bird “kasi madami daw po thorns doon” (because there were so many thorns where it was trapped).

The bird is the second Philippine Eagle rescued in Maitum, Sarangani. The first was Sarangani Pride, rescued by a farmer in Barangay Batian on January 2, 2017.

Ty said a team from the local government unit went to Barangay Ticulab at 6 a.m. on Saturday and arrived at the residence of Mayor Alexander Bryan Raganit at around 8:30 a.m. with the eagle.

T’boli farmer Mang Gamang and the Philippine Eagle he rescued in Barangay Ticulab, Maitum, Sarangani on Friday, 08 January 2021. Photo courtesy of Joylyn Ty

She said a team from the Kiamba Community Environment Office led by Dr. Ali Hadjinasser arrived at around 11 a.m. and left with the eagle at 11:45 a.m. to meet the team from the PEF either in General Santos City or Malungon, Sarangani.

The PEF team, composed of veterinarian Dr. Ana Lascano, animal keeper Adriano Oxales, and driver Rene Baquiano, left Davao City at 11 a.m.

Ty said the eagle bore no visible signs of injuries but had bloodstain “sa feathers sa both leg parts” from the monkey it ate.

The rescued Philippine Eagle will be the 34th  in the Eagle Center in Davao City, and the 18th among eagles from the wild.  The 16 other eagles are products of captive breeding, through cooperative artificial insemination or natural pairing.

Philippine Eagle Foundation posted this photograph of Sarangani Pride on 20 February 2019 with this caption: “Meet Philippine Eagle Sarangani Pride or SP for short. Two years after his succesful release, he has settled in the mountains of Maitum, Sarangani where he was seen hunting cobras and rodents on the forest floor on several occassions. Because of a GPS tracker harnessed unto his back, PEF and LGU Maitum can monitor and keep him safe.”

Rescued eagles are attended to in the Eagle Center and depending on the situation, are kept for a longer period for rehabilitation or are released back into the wild. Sarangani Pride was returned to the forests of Maitum less than a month later, with a GPS tracker harnessed unto his back to allow PEF and the local government of Maitum to monitor the eagle’s movements.

The PEF on February 20, 2019 posted a photograph of Sarangani Pride in the wild, saying the bird was seen hunting cobras and rodents on the forest floor on several occasions.

Ty said SP, short for Sarangani Pride, is being monitored by the local government’s Bantay Gubat. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)