Pagasa, Philippine Eagle bred from artificial insemination, dies
MANILA, Philippines — Pag-asa, one of the Philippine Eagles bred through artificial insemination while its parent was in captivity, has died, the foundation taking care of the raptors announced.
In a Facebook post on Friday, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said that Pag-asa died last January 6, Wednesday — just days short of its 29th birthday on January 15.
PEF noted that Pag-asa’s life was “monumental” as it pushed for the Philippine Eagle conservation, as their numbers have dwindled due to human activities.
“We are deeply saddened with the untimely passing of beloved Philippine Eagle Pag-asa. He will forever remain in our hearts as our conservation icon and a symbol of hope for his species and the Filipino people,” PEF said in a post.
“Pag-asa would have been 29 on January 15. His hatch day is a monumental event as it spurred the conservation breeding efforts for his species. Fly free, Pag-asa. Your legacy lives on,” it added.
PEF has not yet given a reason as to why Pagasa died.
Pag-asa would have been 29 on January 15. His hatchday is a monumental event as it spurred the conservation breeding efforts for his species. Fly free, Pag-asa. Your legacy lives on.#SavePhEagle
Pag-asa was conceived in November 1991 using Philippine Eagle Diola’s fertile egg and sperm from her mate Junior. It was the fourth egg from Diola, but it was the first to hatch.
However, things did not come easy for the celebrated Philippine eagle, whose name directly translates to “hope.” Philippine Daily Inquirer research noted in a 2012 story that several issues threatened the hatching of Pagasa — from calamities to natural occurrences.
The power crisis in Mindanao — where Philippine Eagles are found — placed the egg’s survival in peril as the generator that provided electricity for the incubator encountered problems. Then, an earthquake also threatened the egg’s survival while scientists observed that the egg was thinning.
These issues were addressed, though, and Pag-asa’s hatching in 1992 was the product of 10 years of research and experimentation on the country’s national bird and the birth of a wider awareness on Philippine Eagle conservation efforts.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.