ZAMBOANGA CITY (MindaNews / 12 Jan) – “Godod,” a rescued female Philippine eagle that has completed a 24-day treatment by veterinarians, freely flew to the wilderness of Zamboanga del Norte following her release Monday.
The eagle, named after the town in Zamboanga del Norte where she was found, was released 10:30 a.m. in the mountains of Godod municipality by officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office 9 (DENR-9), Mayor Abel Matildo, and representatives of the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF).
The eagle was accidentally trapped in Sitio Makinaryas, Barangay Bunawan of Godod town on December 16, then turned over to the nearest Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO), in the neighboring municipality of Liloy the next day, according to Dionisio Rago, head of CENRO-Liloy. Tourism personnel and elements of the Army’s 44th Infantry Battalion facilitated the eagle’s transfer, he added.
A veterinarian, Dr. Efren Dawin, then examined “Godod” and found her to have injury on her right wing.
The Davao-based Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) provided the needed technical support to CENRO-Liloy, sending personnel to help look after “Godod,” according to Dr. Jayson Ibañez, PEF director for research and conservation.
PEF and CENRO-Liloy has reportedly been coordinating since 2020 in their watch for Philippine eagles in the area. But Ibañez said that in caring for “Godod,” PEF has been coordinating closely with Rago, along with ecosystems management specialist Elvie Cua-Zamoras and development management officer Brendelyn Madarang.
Dr. Ernest Duldulao, of the DENR-9’s Wildlife Rescue Center, cleared “Godod” as healthy and fit for release. “Her body mass within normal range, feathers complete, normal hydration status, and vital signs normal,” he added.
The veterinarian, who is based in Tukuran, Zamboanga del Sur but travelled to Liloy to attend to the eagle, said “Godod” was fed with rabbit and goat meat, as well as beef.
PEF biologist Rowell Taraya, who attached the GPS tracker on Godod, observed that “the area is very rich in terms of biodiversity” as it abounds with wildlife, thus an ideal habitat for the Philippine eagle.
The place is host to monkeys, hornbills, snakes, flying lemurs, wild pigs, wild cats and a host of others that form a major part of the eagles’ diet, Tan added.
The eagle’s release was witnessed by the town officials, community environment officials, Subanen forest rangers in the area, law enforcers, and a representative of the governor’s office.
Mayor Matildo and Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Almario Kaabay Jr. led the enthralled crowd that enjoyed a closer look at the Philippine Eagle that was named after their town. (Frencie L. Carreon / MindaNews)