MANILA-- Two Philippine eagles, one of the rarest eagles in the world, have been flown to Singapore on Tuesday as part of the Philippine government's bid to protect and conserve the critically endangered birds.
Carrying freshly printed Philippine passports, the eagles named Geothermica and Sambisig, were sent off at the Ninoy Aquino International Terminal 2.
“The passports underscore the Philippine identity of both eagles, doing their share in representing the country abroad, and that they remain the property of the Philippine government,” Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary for Asian and Pacific Affairs’ Meynardo Montealegre said during the send-off ceremony.
Geothermica, a 15-year-old male Philippine eagle, was born on January 7, 2004, while Sambisig, a 16-year-old female, was born on November 17, 2002 in Davao City.
The pair will be housed in Jurong Bird Park for captive breeding, as further conservation measure, under a Wildlife Loan Agreement between the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Wildlife Reserves Singapore.
The Philippine eagle, featured prominently in the current Philippine electronic passport, is the national bird of the Philippines.
Joining Montealegre at the send-off were Philippine Eagle Foundation chairman Ed Chua and DENR Assistant Secretary for Staff Bureaus Ricardo Calderon.
According to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), the project marks the "first-ever overseas loan of Philippine eagles" and is part of the ongoing celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Philippines-Singapore diplomatic relations in 2019. (PNA)