Farewell, Pag-asa: Iconic Ph eagle would have been 29

Image via Philippine Eagle Foundation (Official) | Facebook
  • The Philippine eagle Pag-asa has succumbed to infections, according to the Philippine Eagle Foundation
  • He was supposed to have his 29th birthday on January 15
  • Pag-asa is the first Philippine eagle bred and hatched in captivity

The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) announced on January 8 that Pag-asa had bidden farewell.

Image via Philippine Eagle Foundation (Official) | Facebook

The country’s conservation icon was not able to survive infections brought by Trichomoniasis and Aspergillosis. Birds can get Trichomoniasis from food, water, bedding and other birds contaminated with protozoa trichomonas gallinae that causes the disease. On the other hand, Aspergillosis is a fungal infection that can lead to respiratory impairment.

Although he had been on treatment for a week already, his condition still deteriorated and he expired at 8:03 PM on January 6.

Pag-asa was expected to turn 29 years old on January 15, 2021.

He was the first of its kind that was bred and hatched in captivity through cooperative artificial insemination with the help of the World Center For Birds of Prey. He hatched on January 15, 1992 at the Philippine Eagle Center, in Barangay Malagos at the Calinan district in Davao City. President Rodrigo Duterte – who was the mayor then in Davao – declared his hatch day as the Philippine Eagle Day or Pag-asa Day.

Pag-asa is the first offspring of Philippine eagles Diola and Junior.

On February 9, 2013, Pag-asa had his first offspring; also bred through cooperative artificial insemination with the 29-year-old eagle, Kalinawan. The offspring was named Mabuhay.

Image via Philippine Eagle Foundation (Official) | Facebook

The Philippine Eagle Foundation is saddened by the eagle’s untimely passing and has labeled Pag-asa as a ” forever conservation icon and a symbol of hope for his species and the Filipino people.”

Many netizens who had a chance to see Pag-asa at the Philippine Eagle Center reminisce their memories and posted their throwback photos on social media.

One netizen recalls how he has inspired her to take a course in ecology.

Cristane Gil said. “I will never forget you, Pag-asa. You are one of the reasons why I took a major in ecology way back in college. I am one of the PEF’s trainees and volunteers last 2018. Because of you, I realized how important our wildlife is.

“Thank you and fly freely in heaven! We will take care of your daughter, Mabuhay. Rest now.”

Thank you for your legacy, Pag-asa. You will always be a significant part of Philippine conservation history.