Filipinos were hit with nostalgia as they shared their own memories involving Pag-asa, the first-ever captive-bred Philippine Eagle who succumbed to infections fatal for raptors last Wednesday.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) said that the 28-year-old eagle passed away on January 6 due to infections associated with Trichomoniasis and Aspergillosis that are said to be fatal to raptors such as eagles.
“Although treatment was done over a week ago, he continued to deteriorate and died at 8:03 p.m. on January 6,” PEF said in a statement.
Pag-asa was born on Jan. 15, 1992, and his birth has “heralded hope for the critically endangered species and the entire conservation mission.”
He was the first-ever Philippine Eagle to have been bred and hatched in captivity using cooperative artificial insemination technologies following 14 years of research.
Following this announcement, Filipinos honored Pag-asa by sharing their own memories of the eagle, directly or indirectly.
“May nakakakilala po ba sa kanya? Pag-asa died. I still remember super sikat siya during my elementary days and we even have his stamps before na binenta sa school namin for the protection of his species. Fly to the rainbow bridge Pag-asa!” another online user said.
“When I was 18, I wrote an essay about seeing Pag-asa during a family trip to Davao. That essay changed my life. Goodbye, Pag-asa. And thank you for the hope you gave us,” shared another Filipino.
“I still remember doing a school report about him and the Philippine Eagles in grade school. Fly free, Pag-asa,” a different Twitter user wrote.
Another Filipino recalled how people would show their interest in the eagle whenever he would give tours “at the center.”
“I remember how much people would be asking about Pag-asa whenever I’d be giving them a tour at the center and they’d be excited to share their tidbits about Pag-asa that they know to their friends and fam (family),” he said.
There are more than 30 Philippine Eagles under PEF’s care in Barangay Malagos, Davao City.
The Philippine Eagle can be spotted in Luzon, Samar, Leyte and Mindanao. It is considered critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.