Photo by Pag-asa courtesy of Philippine Eagle Foundation

 

The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) on Friday announced the death of “Pag-asa”, the first Philippine eagle to be bred and hatched in captivity. He was 28 years old.

“The Philippine Eagle Foundation is sad to announce the passing of beloved Philippine eagle, Pag-asa. He succumbed to infections associated with Trichomoniasis and Aspergillosis. Both diseases are fatal for raptors. Although treatment was done over a week ago, he continued to deteriorate and died at 8:03 p.m. on January 6,” the PEF said in a statement.

Pag-asa was bred through artificial insemination and hatched through combined artificial and natural incubation techniques.

He was named after the Tagalog term for “hope” by the PEF team as awareness of conservation efforts on the endangered Philippine eagles increased after his hatching.

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He was the first offspring of Philippine eagles Diola and Junior.

Then 29-year-old Diola laid the egg, and Junior, who is found in Agusan, donated the sperm.

She sat on the egg for 12 days before it was transferred to an incubator.

“Pag-asa would have turned 29 years old on Jan. 15, 2021. He was the first-ever Philippine eagle bred and hatched in captivity using the cooperative artificial insemination (CAI) techniques. Pag-asa’s birth – the culmination of 14 years’ worth of research – heralded hope for the critically endangered species and the entire conservation mission,” the foundation said.

Years after he was hatched, the PEF reached yet another milestone with Pag-asa in the form of his first and only offspring, “Mabuhay”, who was also bred and hatched through CAI.

Even after he retired from breeding, Pag-asa lived his life as an icon of hope for Filipinos, young and old, and was a constant inspiration to the people working tirelessly to save the country’s national bird from extinction, the PEF added.

“Pag-asa was gone too soon indeed, but his legacy lives on,” it said. (PNA)

 

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