SAFE AND SOUND. The rare and young crested serpent eagle (Spilornis cheela) took a final look at her cage shortly after its release back to the wild in Kiamba, Sarangani province on Wednesday (Aug. 3, 2022). The endangered species was rescued and turned over to environment officials by Herly Chavez, a resident in the area. (Photo courtesy of Aileen Tenio/CENRO-Kiamba)

KORONADAL CITY – A juvenile Philippine Crested Serpent Eagle was rescued and released back in the mountains of Sarangani province, environment officials said Wednesday.

Herly Chavez, of Kiamba town in Sarangani, rescued the trapped eagle on Tuesday and turned it over to the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO).

Forester Abdul D. Cariga, Kiamba CENRO chief, said the eagle was freed back on the same day it was rescued after assessing that it was in good health.

Cariga was also elated that their effort to educate the public about the importance of saving endangered birds for a balanced ecosystem is paying off.

“We are now more enthusiastic to teach the locals about saving the environment for the future generation,” he said.

Cariga said the raptor has a 107-centimeter wingspan and height of 30 centimeters.

Meanwhile, Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Soccsksargen Region Director Felix S. Alicer called on all DENR personnel to help educate the people so endangered species are safe and can multiply their population.

“This is the first crested serpent eagle that was rescued this year,  and the second to be sent back so far to its natural habitat in Sarangani,” he said.

A rescued Philippine Eagle named "Salagbanog" was also released into the forests of Sarangani early this year. (PNA)