A rare Philippine Eagle has been found shot dead just weeks after being released back into the wild.
The eagle, which had returned to the wild two months ago, had spent three years being nursed back to health after being wounded by gunshots.
The eagle was found dead in a southern Philippine forest on Sunday on a mountain range in Southern Davao Oriental province.
The bird was found with a gunshot wound to her chest, Dennis Salvador, executive director of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, said.
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The Philippine Eagle is classed as a “critically endangered” species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, and the killing of one of these birds is punishable by up to 12 years in jail.
There are only around 400 pairs of the bird thought to be left, and the foundation said it had only released this eagle back into the wild to breed on 12 June, on Philippine Independence Day.
The release of the bird into the wild had followed a public information campaign to inform communities about the presence of the highly endangered bird. The eagle had been released about a kilometre from where the carcass was found.
“It’s really disturbing,” Salvador said, adding that the foundation is working with the police and local officials to arrest those responsible.
Additional reporting by APReuse content