Just three days ago, The Philippine Eagle Foundation reported on the addition of yet another eaglet of the critically endangered Philippine Eagle species to this world. There are thought to be only about 600 of these animals left in the wild, while about 30 of them are in captivity at a conversation center in Davao City, Mindanao, Philippines, where they are watched over by trained animal professionals.
The young new Eaglet is expected to survive and grow up to be a healthy Philippine Eagle. It’s the first time that the conversation center has been a newborn of the species for two years, so it’s a no-brainer that it’s big news for everyone involved.
"At two days old, this baby eagle can already lift its head and get food from forceps. It's also very active, attentive and observant of its surroundings," said Anna Mae Sumaya, the curator of of animals’ breeding program. “The chick responds to some bird calls heard from the background sound.”
Known as the national bird of the Philippines, Philippine Eagles are in the critically endangered state because they were long hunted by hunters and because development of the lands that they used to call their habitats left them with no place to live. They can grow very large, and are capable of reaching up to three feet in height when fully grown adults.
At this size, it’s not uncommon to see them eating smaller monkeys, squirrels, lizards, and other easy game.
“This hatching is a big breakthrough for us and is the result of nearly five years of round robin pairing amongst our younger set of eagles at the center,” PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador explained. “We are proud of our conservation breeding team for their perseverance at this very challenging task.”
It’s a rare event indeed – the Philippine Eagle Foundation has been around for 23 years, and this is only the 26th time that a Philippine Eagle has hatched under their care.
Because of their low number count and critically endangered status, it’s a serious crime to be caught killing a Philippine Eagle. Doing so could land you with 12 years in prison and a fine of over $21,200.