The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is probing into illegal wildlife hunting activities in a key mountain range of Sarangani province that is a known habitat of the endangered Philippine eagle.
The investigation comes after marble and small lead pellet bullets were found under the skin of a Philippine eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) rescued earlier this month in Maitum town.
Dr. Ali Hadjinasser, chief of DENR’s Community and Natural Resources Office (CENRO)-Kiamba, said the bullets possibly came from wildlife hunters that targeted the eagle, which is a clear violation of Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
“This is also to protect and conserve the rich biodiversity of the area,” he added in his statement on Monday.
The eagle was found by a resident in a thorny rattan vines at Barangay Ticulab in Maitum last Jan. 8. It reportedly fell from a tree while hunting a monkey in a forested area near Salagbanog Falls within Mt. Busa complex, which is a declared key biodiversity area.
“Let them live in their natural habitat. If they are injured, immediately notify the DENR to ensure their well-being,” said lawyer Felix Alicer, regional executive director of DENR-Region 12.