Letters to the Editor

Gun ends Pamana’s life

The Philippine Star

The shooting to death of Pamana, the young eagle released from captivity two months ago in Davao Oriental, which sparked widespread outrage from environmentalists and nature lovers is not the first such devastating blow on the ongoing efforts to save the national treasure from extinction. Sometime in October 2013, an eagle released by the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) to the wilds was found shot dead with a bullet wound in a forest somewhere in Mindanao. Prior to that, the foundation has released six eagles four of which are already dead. Three of the unfortunate eagles were shot by hunters. That means that including Pamana, the PEF had already lost five priceless specimens of the endangered specie to hunters.

And the unnecessary losses will continue bringing the Philippine eagle closer to extinction if the PEF and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), it’s partner in the attempt to save the species, will  continue to live in a world of make believe and still persist in their belief that there are wilds in this country where the birds could be safe and  if they continue denying the reality this country is the most dangerous place for wild animals due to the mentality of the people that anything that moves could be caught for food or for sale anytime and anywhere. With our population density standing at 307 people per square kilometer, there is practically no more wide uninhabited area you could call wilds where animals could be safe from humans Filipinos at that.  More so with eagles which fly far and wide. They have already lost four  to gun wielders and they still released  Pamana.

Let’s accept it. Majority of Filipinos especially those in the countryside only regard both flora and fauna in terms of the immediate, direct and personal benefits they offer which is usually how these resources could solve hunger or be turned into money. It is well known they would hunt down anything that moves for the table or for the market is not an exaggeration. The persons responsible for shooting the eagles cited above were only thinking how the meat of the bird would improve their lunch or perhaps give them some money. National symbols, conservation, balance of nature and other concepts and practices of civilized nations relative to nature are virtually non-existent in the Filipino culture which explains why our environment is in an advance state of devastation with a disturbing number of animal and plant species already extinct or near that point. We are a nation of predators. Period. And the sad part about it is even if we now change our ways now which is highly unlikely on a national scale, it will take many, many years before our depleted flora and fauna could recover.

Government environmental people and these conservationists are so in love with the concept that the best place and condition for wild animals are their natural habitats that it might take the unnecessary loss of tens more of these precious national symbols before they come to terms with the reality that the safest place for wildlife in this country is in captivity.

If they did not release those eight eagles, chances are the six  which died are still alive today and would be a great factor in the multiplication of the endangered species. Any sane person would choose a captive eagle to a dead eagle and for so long as these people on top the effort to save the species from extinction do not accept this truth, our national bird  is doomed. – Estanislao Albano Jr., Casigayan, Tabuk City, Kalinga












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