Friday Jun, 05 2020 04:44:32 AM

Serpent Eagle rescued from hunter in Maasim, Sarangani Province

Climate Change/Environment • 05:45 AM Wed Apr 8, 2020
Aileen D. Tenio, IO Designate

MAASIM, Sarangani  – Environment officials here have rescued a young juvenile “Crested Serpent Eagle” (Spilomis cheela) which was captured by local hunter and displayed on his social media account, an act that worried officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-12).

The endangered bird is now safe in the hands of the Community Environment and Natural Resources of Kiamba (CENRO-Kiamba).

On April 5, a lady concerned citizen, alarmed by what she saw on Facebook, alerted Khadija Bayam-Benpolok, head of DENR-12 Regional Public Affairs Office (RPAO), about the eagle held on its wings by its hunter.

The Quick Response Team (QRT) of CENRO-Kiamba immediately responded upon receiving the information.

According to the concerned citizen, she was alarmed by FB posts of a man using an account name: “Way Hilakay Oi” (Hey don’t cry). The post showed a young man with his face covered by the raptor, showing the ventral side of the serpent eagle with both wings spread apart.

It was captioned: “I love hunting kagagaling kulang sa gubat nakahuli po ako ng isa sisiw ng eagle (I love hunting just arrived from the mountains and caught this eaglet.)”

Personnel of the Municipal Environment and Natural Resources (MENRO), headed by the MENR Officer Alejandra G. Sison, immediately retrieved and turned over the raptor to the CENRO Kiamba personnel in the afternoon of April 6.

The QRT headed by Forester Michael C. Perales at Sitio Mutag, Barangay Bales, Maasim, Sarangani met with the family of the eagle hunter.

“We met his (hunter) uncle in the same house where the photo was taken and posted in his Facebook,” Forester Perales said.

The uncle told Perales that the eagle’s nest was visible up a huge old tree so his nephew captured the bird and brought it home.

Before leaving the area, the QRT informed and discussed to the concerned residents the salient features of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation Act”.

“Hunting of vulnerable species of bird under CITES II is a clear violation of the provisions of RA 9147 or Wildlife Law,” said CENR Officer of Kiamba, Ali M. Hadjinasser, PhD.

The serpent eagle was brought to Poblacion, Kiamba under the care of Park Maintenance Foreman Mr. Edgar Q. Calderon. It will be kept and rehabilitated before releasing back to its natural habitat.

According to the CENR Officer Hadjinasser, a case will be filed against the violator. He then encouraged the public to report similar case to the nearest DENR Office for prompt action.

“Our intent is to protect and save wildlife,” Hadjinasser stressed.  (with reports and photos by Forester Michael C. Perales and Maria N. Tubera)

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