The magnificent bird would have been 29 years old in just over a week too.
Pag-asa, the only Philippine eagle hatched and bred in captivity, has died after battling with Trichomoniasis and Aspergillosis, both believed to be fatal diseases for raptors.
The news came from a post by the Philippine Eagle Foundation, which describes Pag-asa as a “conservation icon and a symbol hope for his species and the Filipino people.”
It was back in January 1992 when Pag-asa was bred through a process called cooperative artificial insemination (CAI) between two eagles in captivity. His birthday was significant not only because it was the long-awaited result of a research that spanned 14 years, but also because it paved the way for greater “conservation breeding efforts” for the endangered Philippine eagle.
“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 our National Bird from extinction,” PEF shared.
The Philippine eagle, or Pithecopaga jefferyi, is endemic to our country and can only be found on four major islands: eastern Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao, which house the largest contingency of the species at between 82 to 233 breeding pairs. In PEF’s care facility in Malagos, Davao City, more than 30 Philippine eagles remain.