Thursday, May 24, 2012

Man fined for shooting, killing Philippine eagle

A farmer has been fined P100,000 for shooting and killing a critically endangered animal, the Philippine eagle.

A man was fined for killing and eating a Philippine Eagle in 2008, not knowing it was endangered. PHOTO: EPA.

The 26-year old Bryan Bala-on may also face undetermined years in jail for killing the eagle in 2008. The case is the first criminal case filed for the killing of the Philippine-endemic animal.

Activists and conservationists ourtaged over the "lenient punishment", and said the imposed fine was just a "slap on the wrist." They believe there are fewer than 250 adult Philippine Eagles (Pithecophaga jefferyi), in the wild. The eagle is the country's national bird.

Philippine Eagle Foundation Inc. (PEF) executive director Dennis Salvador described the Malaybalay, Bukidnon Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 10 decision as a "bittersweet victory." He said they won the case but felt the death of the eagle was not given justice.

The remains of the eagle were found at a national park after it was reintroduced into the wild with a tracking device. In 2006, it was rescued from captivity.

Bala-on meanwhile said he had shot the eagle with an airgun and had eaten it with friends, not knowing back then it was endangered.

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