MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Samar has a new inhabitant, at least for now: a Philippine Hawk Eagle.
The eagle, estimated to be 5 months old, was captured by the 87th Infantry Battalion (87IB), and given to DENR in a ceremony at the battalion’s headquarters, a military statement on Thursday, April 17, said. It was found by troops at the hinterlands of Pinabacdao-Sta Rita, Samar area where they were conducting a post-Yolanda assessment.
They named the eagle Murayaw, which means peace in the local dialect, Waray-Waray.
The troops nursed Murayaw’s leg wounds for 4 months, the statement added. Once the eagle had recovered, the troops contacted DENR to arrange Murayaw’s turnover. The DENR will release Murayaw back into the wild when it deems the bird ready.
Murayaw was officially handed over by Major General Jet B Velarmino, commander of the 8th Infantry Division, and Lt Col Antonio B. Dulnuan, commanding officer of 87IB, to DENR Regional Technical Director Danilo Javier.
Velarmino said the handing over of Murayaw by the battalion and its efforts to nurse it back to health, “is a manifestation of our support to the environment conservation program of the government.”
“While our primary mandate is to protect the people from threat groups, we are fully aware of the national government on its environmental conservation programs and as such, we always provide necessary assistance to DENR,” he said in a statement.
“The people in Eastern Visayas can rest assured that your Army in this part of the country is not only looking after the welfare and protection of the people from the NPA rebels, but is also looking after the welfare and protection of our environment,” he said. – Natashya Gutierrez/Rappler.com
Photo of captured eagle from Shutterstock