DAVAO CITY: The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) announced the passing of 28-year-old Philippine eagle Pag-asa on Jan. 6, 2021 at 8:03 p.m.

PHILIPPINE EAGLE 20210112 - Iconic Philippine Eagle Pag-asa passes away
LEGACY OF HOPE Pag-asa soars no more, having succumbed to fatal diseases on Jan. 6, 2021. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said Pag-asa succumbed to infections associated with Trichomoniasis and Aspergillosis, which are both fatal to raptors.

He added that treatment was done over a week ago, but Pag-asa continued to deteriorate until it died.

Pag-asa was born on Jan. 15, 1992 and became a widely known symbol of hope, as his name translates as “hope.”

He was the first Philippine eagle bred and hatched in captivity, using cooperative artificial insemination (CAI) techniques.

Pag-asa’s birth, the culmination of 14 years’ of research, heralded hope for the critically endangered species and the entire conservation mission.

Years later, the PEF reached yet another milestone with Pag-asa in the form of its first and only offspring named “Mabuhay,” which was also bred and hatched through CAI.

Even though the eagle retired from breeding, according to Salvador, “Pag-asa lived his life [as] an icon of hope for Filipinos and was a constant inspiration to the people working tirelessly to save our national bird from extinction.”

“The conservation work will still continue, and so [will] his legacy,” he said.

The Philippine eagle is a giant bird of prey that can only be seen on four islands in the Philippines: Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao.

It is considered to be one of the largest and most powerful among the forest raptors.

The Philippine Eagle is also listed as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature with only an estimated 400 pairs left in the wild.

It can live up to more than 40 years in captivity but probably much less in the wild.

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