The DENR National Capital Region, through its Metropolitan Environmental Office-South (MEO-South) retrieved a White-bellied Sea-eagle (𝘏𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘢𝘦𝘦𝘵𝘶𝘴 𝘭𝘦𝘶𝘤𝘰𝘨𝘢𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳) from Barangay Fort Bonifacio in Taguig City. The 2.48-kilogram raptor was surrendered by a local who saw it perched on a fence in front of the Philippine Marine Corps inside the camp. He explained that he caught the bird to keep it safe from moving vehicles and curious onlookers.
MEO-South personnel immediately brought the eagle to the Wildlife Rescue Center at the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center (NAPWC) in Quezon City for temporary custody and care. The receiving officers, however, took note of the foot pads attached to the raptor's talons, indicating that it might have been a pet.
The White-bellied Sea-eagle is listed as a species of Least Concern in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species owing to its expansive range. According to online information, the eagle is spread over the coastline regions in most of southeastern and eastern Asia, including the Philippines, and down south in Australia and Tasmania. BirdLife International, however, said that its population in the wild is continuously decreasing due to habitat destruction and illegal wildlife trade.
Republic Act No. 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act of 2001 penalizes the hunting, possession, and sale of wildlife and its derivatives, including the destruction of its natural habitats.