The Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) is the country’s national bird declared by Pres. Fidel Ramos last 1995. It is also called the “monkey eating eagle.” Among bird lovers and environmentalist, it is considered one of the biggest and most beautiful species of birds. The eagle is endemic to the Philippines found only in the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao.
In celebration of the Philippine Independence Day last June 12, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) released an eagle in captivity called “Pamana” to the wild. The name “Pamana”, by the way, is derived from a Tagalog word which means “legacy” or “inheritance” signifying that in returning the eagle back to its natural habitat, Filipinos will respond in taking care of the environment and wildlife.
Unfortunately, much to the horror of everyone, Pamana was reported to be shot dead in Mindanao last August 16. Metal fragments were found inside its body and it was believed that the defenseless bird was shot twice. There is no news yet of the possible culprits but investigations are currently going on to catch the perpetrators.
Illegal hunting has long been a problem of the decreasing population of the Philippine eagle. Among other threats includes trapping, sport shooting, and deforestation.
The hashtag #FlyFreePamana was supposed to be used when the eagle was released in the wild. Now, it resurfaced again in the virtual world for Filipinos who were in remorse of the death of the precious specimen. Even though Pamana had passed away, somewhere out there, Filipinos believe that it is flying free with its wings spread wide.
The effect of the death of Pamana is the same with the sympathy it got when Cecil the lion was shot dead by an American dentist. Posting the hashtag #FlyFreePamana is a good strategy to spread awareness of animal protection.
Images in courtesy of Facebook
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