Rare Philippine eagle shot dead shortly after release

  • Published
Gerlie, a Philippine eagle, is seen in a government wildlife centre in Manila on 6 June 2014, as the government celebrates the 16th Philippine Eagle Week from June 4-10.Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Philippine eagles are an endangered species and are known for their shaggy crests

A rare Philippine eagle has been shot dead just two months after it was released into the wild following treatment for a previous gunshot wound, Philippine conservationists say.

The bird, called Pamana, was found in a forest in the south, close to where it had been released.

There are thought to be only 400 pairs of Philippine eagles left in the wild.

Whoever shot it could be jailed for up to 12 years and fined up to 1 million pesos (£39,000; $61,000).

Pamana, whose name means "heritage" in Tagalog, was first brought into the Philippine Eagle Center in 2012 with gunshot wounds, and spent the next three years recuperating, reported ABS-CBN News.

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Philippine eagles, one of the world's largest eagle species, can grow to a height of 1m (3.3ft) and can have a wingspan of up to 2m

She was released at the forest in Mount Hamihuitan on 12 June - the Philippines' Independence Day. Her tracking device later indicated she had stopped moving.

She was found on Wednesday in an advanced state of decomposition, said the Philippine Inquirer.

"Unfortunately, one person with a gun thinks he can shoot anything," the Philippine Eagle Foundation's executive director Joseph Salvador told reporters.

The Philippine eagle is considered critically endangered because of the loss of its natural rainforest habitat and hunting.