Mahayag, Zamboanga del Sur. . . . Personnel from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Region IX through its Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) of Ramon Magsaysay in said province rescues and retrieves on July 9 a Philippine Serpent Eagle (Spilornis holospilus) locally known as Banog at Barangay Kaangayan, Mahayag.

Based on the investigation made by the DENR team, a certain Mr. John Magbanua caught the said bird in their rice field near their house last July 9, 2020. He took custody of it as he requested his neighbor to inform DENR through text about the captive wildlife.

An initial examination made by the team when they saw the Serpent Eagle revealed that the bird was not in good shape. Its inner right wing was bent and had a trace of old injury. It was also wounded on its left tarsus and the right eye was observed to be partially blind.

Since Mr. Magbanua was not around during the retrieval, his mother, Mrs. Susana Magbanua, voluntarily handed over the bird.

The team informed Mrs. Magbanua and nearby residents about the existence of a law known as Republic Act 9147 also known as the "Wildlife Resource Conservation and Protection Act" emphasizing that keeping a wildlife without a permit is illegal and it was only right for them to immediately report it to the DENR.

The Serpent Eagle was then brought to Pagadian City Veterinary Clinic for final examination and treatment by a veterinarian.

The said Philippine Serpent Eagle is now temporarily kept at the Wildlife Rescue Center of PENRO Zamboanga del Sur in Barangay Lacupayan, Tigbao, Zamboanga del Sur for its recuperation and proper care.

Philippine Serpent Eagles are relatively small raptors and are colored brown from above and have a short bushy crest, black crown and throat. As their name would suggest, they eat snakes and lizards.

They are endemic in our country and are mostly found in Luzon and Mindanao. They are common within their range but threatened by habitat loss despite the fact they are capable of adapting to changing environments than some eagle species. They are currently listed as Least Concerned by Bird Life International.