Philippines: Philippine Eagle ‘Matatag’ shot in Tambobong
26th February 2016;

Matatag is back at the Philippine Eagle Center after being shot in Brgy. Tambobong, Baguio District, Davao City last February 21, Sunday, at around 8:00 AM by a resident of the said barangay.

Tiborcio Solis Aparesio, brought the wounded Eagle to the Philippine Eagle Center (PEC) and claimed responsibility for the shooting and said that he used a .22 caliber rifle. The Eagle’s identity was verified by Joshua Donato, Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) Senior Field Biologist, when he checked the bird’s leg band. Resident veterinarian, Dr. Anna Lascano immediately treated Matatag.

Initial results show that Matatag fractured his right wing. Scattered pieces of bones and shrapnel were seen in the x-ray.

The incident was later reported to the patrolling police officers of Police Station 11 onboard at the Davao City Water District compound. The PEF staff also turned over the suspect to PO3 Kent R. Lahorra.

But the following day, the suspect’s brother, Rolando Solis Aparesio, went to the Baguio Police Station and claimed that he was the one who shot Matatag and not his brother. A witness supported the claim and added that it was really Rolando who shot the Eagle and Tiburcio was only covering up to his brother.

Donato, as the complainant, filed a case of violation of RA 9147 or the Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act for causing injuries to Matatag against the Aparesio brothers. They are currently under the custody of the police. Meanwhile, Matatag is still under observation but appears to be responding well to medication.

Matatag was released back to the ancestral forests of the indigenous Obo Manuvu tribe over a year ago after 3 years of rehabilitation of the Philippine Eagle Center.

PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said that this incident only underscores the continuing decline in population of the endangered Philippine Eagle (Pithecophaga jefferyi) even in the most protected territories.

Ultimately, Salvador calls on Filipinos to be more involved in the protection of Philippine raptors. He adds that we cannot be complacent—that the protection of our national bird cannot be left to our forest guards but should be the responsibility of everyone.

Source: Philippine Eagle Foundation

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