June 14, 2024

■  Text & Photos: PIA-CAR

Nariha Kabugao, the rescued and rehabilitated Philippine eagle from Kabugao, Apayao has been released to its forest home.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Cordillera together with the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), the provincial government of Apayao and the municipal government of Kabugao led the release of the critically endangered eagle in front of at least a hundred officials and residents, in Bulu on April 12.

Messages from the various government officials as well as the partners from the private sector about the value of protecting the endangered eagle were given during a program.

Among the speakers were DENR-CAR Executive Director Paquito Moreno, DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau Executive Director ASec. Marcial Amaro represented by Maria Lourdes Almeda, Gov. Elias Bulut Jr. and Rep. Eleanor Bulut-Begtang represented by Board Member Vincent Talatag, Kabugao Vice Mayor Fabulous Tucjang, Bulu barangay officials, PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador, and “Born To Be Wild” director Dr. Nielsen Donato.

Also present during the release ceremonies were DENR-CAR Assistant Director for Management Amelita Ortiz, Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Rainier Balbuena, Conner Vice Mayor Alex Aswigue, Apayao Penro Marcelo Menor, and PEF Director for Operations Dr. Jayson Ibanez.

A composite team from the DENR, provincial and municipal workers, PEF and concerned citizens nursed the Philippine eagle back to health after it was rescued from a farmer in Bulu on March 19, 2024.

The eagle underwent medical procedures and treatment until it fully recovered.

A solar-powered GPS-GSM tracker was installed on her, backpack style before her release.