(SPOT.ph) In 2017, at least 37,000 birds died from the avian influenza that hit parts of the Philippines. Should a similar outbreak happen in the future, endangered bird species in the country would be put at risk. As a "biosecurity measure," the Department of Environment and Natural Resources signed a wildlife loan agreement allowing the transfer of two Philippine eagles from the Philippine Eagle Center in Davao to Singapore's Jurong Bird Park, the largest bird park in Asia.
"This serves as an insurance policy for our eagles, so that if something bad happens to our captive population here, we have a set of gene pool outside the country that we can rely on and continue propagating," Dennis Salvador, executive director of the Philippine Eagle Foundation, was quoted in an Inquirer report.
Raised in captivity at the Philippine Eagle Center, the pair of Philippine eagles are expected to stay in Singapore for the next 10 years. However, they will remain the property of the Philippine government, along with any potential offspring.