DENR Bicol to file raps vs alleged Philippine hawk eagle shooter

LEGAZPI CITY —The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Bicol will pursue the complaint against the wildlife hunter found in possession of a wounded Philippine Hawk Eagle in Mayon Volcano Natural Park in Sto. Domingo, Albay.

Philippine hawk-eagle (Nisaetus philippensis)
DENR Bicol Regional Director Gilbert Gonzales said he ordered a thorough investigation on the matter in order to establish a strong case against Tirso Bañares, the alleged wildlife hunter, for violation of the Republic Act No. 9147 or the Phil. Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act.

“The DENR through the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Legazpi City is set to file the complaint against the suspect for violation of RA 9147 and of RA 7586 or the NIPAS Act,” Dir. Gonzales said.

Initial reports of forest officers revealed that around noon of August 6, 2014, the team caught Bañares in possession of the wounded eagle as they passed by his bunkhouse while monitoring the bush fire in the protected area.

The dying eagle was turned over to the Albay Park and Wildlife for immediate treatment.

However, the veterinarian was not able to save the life of the raptor due to its rapid blood loss.

The CENRO Legazpi City team also confiscated an improvised air gun supposedly used in shooting down the raptor.

“We have reasons to believe that we have a strong case against Bañares, who fled from the scene when our personnel from CENRO Legazpi City came back to interrogate him,” Gonzales added.

“Escape or fleeing would run counter to his statement that he was not the perpetrator of such crime,” he furthered.

The Philippine Hawk Eagle is one of the biggest among the predator birds in the world. It can stand up to 30 inches tall with a wing span that measures twice the length of its body and weighs up to two kilograms.

This bird has a disctinctive crest on top of their heads consisting of four to five black feathers measuring up to eight centimeters long. (MAL/SAA/DENR5/PIA5)

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