The Katala Foundation Inc. (KFI) has successfully reared a chick of the critically endangered Philippine cockatoo or katala, at its conservation center in Narra, according to executive director Indira Lacerna-Widmann.
Widmann said they named the hatchling “Hope” as it represents the first successful conservation breeding effort for this endangered bird species.
The hatchling is an offspring of permanent resident cockatoos at the institute and is now being personally hand-raised by Angel Satioquia, the institute’s head zoo keeper.
Satioquia said taking care of the hatchling involves long hours of monitoring and feeding to ensure the chick gets what it needs to fully develop.
“Taking care of Hope is very challenging. It was hard to wake up almost every hour to feed and most especially, full attention is needed to check its health condition. Nakakawala ng pagod when you see the fragile hatchling gains weight and energy every passing day.” the zookeeper said.
“Hope gives us the inspiration and gratification to believe and work on.” she added
Widmann said conservationists have found in captivity breeding of Katala difficult. After “Hope’s” case went well, she hopes that the institute will hatch more chicks in the future to keep their conservation efforts going and, eventually, to increase the number of birds in the wild.
“Conservation of the Philippine Cockatoo in the wild remains the absolute priority, but regular conservation breeding of this species will provide us with another tool in our efforts to restore the Katala to its historical range within the Philippines, where it got extirpated decades ago,” Widmann said.