After months of rehabilitation, Rajah the eagle is going home.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation announced on Facebook that Rajah Cabungsuan, a five-year-old male Philippine eagle, will be released into the forest in Lingig, Surigao del Sur later this month.
Rajah was named after a barangay (village) in Lingig, where he was found and rescued in March this year. Authorities from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) turned the eagle over to the foundation, where Rajah spent seven months being nursed back to health at the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao.
Known as the national bird of the Philippines, the Philippine eagle is a critically endangered species endemic to the country’s rainforests. The IUCN estimates that only 400 pairs are left remaining in the wild. Killing a Philippine eagle is punished under law, where violators face up to 12 years in prison and heavy fines.