DAVAO CITY, Philippines — Do you plan to visit the Philippine Eagle Center this Kadayawan? Make sure to stay on the foot trails and make the center as your first stop before going to other animal centers in the city.
This is the latest Philippine Eagle Center advisory as it steps up safety measures to protect the endangered Philippine Eagle and other birds endemic in Mindanao, announcing also the opening of the center after the temporary closure due to the threat of the avian flu virus outbreak in Pampanga.
In a telephone interview Thursday, Dennis Salvador, executive director of the PEF, said they have evaluated their bio-safety protocols and installed additional security measures given the threat of the bird flu last week.
“The threat is controlled by the Department of Agriculture in Pampanga. We closed shop primarily to install additional security measures,” Salvador said.
Salvador said guests are advised to stay on the trails, step on foot baths, and disinfect their hands before entering the area where the birds are located.
Meanwhile, he said the animals are off-limits for the staff of the center and only handlers will be allowed to touch them.
“Maintainance and animal keepers are also required to take a bath and change clothes before entering the cages,” he added.
Bird handlers, on the other hand, are only allowed to handle one animal.
The center, located some 32 kilometers from downtown Davao City, houses 33 Philippine Eagles which represents less than 10 percent of the global population. Aside from these, the center also houses, birds that are endemic in Mindanao, including the Pinsker’s Hawk eagle, Giant Scops Owl, and the Mindanao Lowland Scops Owl.
The Philippine Eagle Foundation on Monday announced it will temporarily close the center on August 15 to 16 “to set up necessary emergency measures and ensure the safety of our Philippine Eagle and other Raptors in the facility.”
Salvador said due to the Kadayawan festival, they are expecting the influx of 6,000 guests during the whole duration of the event. The center is open daily from 8 am to 5 pm. (davaotoday.com)