TO BE FREED. An endangered Brahminy kite eagle rescued Monday (Sept. 5, 2022) by residents of Barangay Poblacion 7 in Cotabato City is set to be released soon. Local environment officials says the eagle is healthy and had no injuries when found. (Photo courtesy of Cotabato CIO)

COTABATO CITY – Environment officials in this city and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) are set to release back to the wild a Brahminy kite eagle, more popularly known as Lawin, which was earlier found by residents of Barangay Poblacion 7 here.

“This is the first time that a big bird like this has landed in our village,” Barangay Poblacion 7 chairperson Hasanal Adtong said in an interview with reporters Tuesday.

Residents presented Monday the eagle to Adtong, who in turn handed over the endangered bird to authorities.

The bird got entangled with a kite thread when found. It is estimated to weigh more than a kilo and a half, also known as the “red-backed sea-eagle” in Australia and commonly found in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, including the Philippines, and Australia.

“The bird is healthy, not injured, and will soon be sent back to the wild,” said forester Judy Angkad, BARMM’s Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources and Energy protected area superintendent.

Having a Brahminy kite eagle in the city was an indication it has a rich biodiversity, Angkad said, as she lauded the villagers and the local officials for saving the endangered bird.

She also reminded the public that capturing, slaughtering, and selling endangered species is prohibited under Republic Act 9147 or Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act. (PNA)