Philippine Eagle Centre. Zoo in Davao, Mindanao

Philippine Eagle Centre

Zoo in Davao, Mindanao

Philippine Eagle Photo © Klaus Stiefel

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Philippine Eagle Centre

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Philippine Eagle - Philippine Eagle
	Centre
Philippine Eagle - Philippine Eagle Centre. Photo by Klaus Stiefel
The largest and most vicious birds of prey in the world can be found at the Philippine National Eagle Center in Davao. These Philippine eagles (Pithecophaga jefferyi) are cared for and protected in this sanctuary. Currently, the center houses at least 36 healthy Philippine eagles and ten other species of birds such as serpent eagles, white-bellied eagles, Pinkser’s hawk eagle, and Philippine scops owl. The Philippine Eagle Center is located at Malagos, Calinan, inside the Davao Water District compound.

History

In 1965, Dr. Dioscoro Rabor, a Filipino ornithologist, predicted the possible extinction of the Philippine eagles due to the continuous loss of its natural habitat which can be attributed by massive mining and irresponsible exploitation of Davao’s forest. The Philippine eagles were also victims of uncontrollable hunting back in the 1960s. A conservation program to protect the endangered eagles was then established in 1969.

In 1992, two Philippine eagles were born inside the center, with the help of the Philippine Eagle Foundation. The two eagles were named “Pag-asa” and “Pagkakaisa”, which means ‘Hope’ and ‘Unity’ in the local language. The PEF believes that there is hope in saving the endangered Philippine eagles if the people are united to the cause.

Since the endangered Philippine eagles can only be found in the country, ex-president Fidel V. Ramos (Wikipedia Article) proclaimed the Philippine eagle as the national bird of the country in 1995.

Visiting

The Philippine Eagle Center is now one of the major tourist attractions in Davao. Not only is the center a great place to see the rarest eagles in the world (and other animals as well), it also offers its guests a peek of the beautiful forest ecosystem of the Philippines.

Guided tours are available at the center for free. Tourists are advised to contact the PEF office before visiting the center in order to ensure the availability of tour guides. Aside from the tour of the facility, visitors can also participate in other activities such as the Keeper Talk and Falconry. In Keeper Talk, the caretakers will talk about the biology, characteristics, and life cycle of the Philippine eagle. During Falconry, the birds are allowed to take flight and the visitors can see how majestic the eagles are in the air. Lectures are also given to the guests if they opt for it. These include the conservation breeding program of the PEF, the field research program, community based program, and captive breeding techniques.

The Philippine Eagle Center is open from 8 AM to 5 PM daily, even on holidays. Aside from the birds and animals, tourists can also enjoy the lush garden and scenery of the center. They can also relax at the visitor’s lounge after enjoying the attractions.

Entrance Fees

In order to keep the Philippine Eagle Center well-maintained and operational, entrance fees are charged from tourists visiting the center. Before reaching the Philippine Eagle Center, tourists will have to enter through the Davao Water District entrance. The fees collected here are ₱5 ($0.11) for adults and ₱3 ($0.07) for children. Upon reaching the main entrance to the center, the fees collected are ₱50 ($1.10) for adults and for ₱30 ($0.66) for 18 years old and below. The tours conducted inside the center is free of charge.

Getting There

Tourists who are coming in from Manila can take a domestic flight directly to Davao City. There are daily flights from Manila to Davao, served by either Cebu Pacific Air or Philippine Airlines.

From Davao City, tourists can visit the Philippine Eagle Center (which is a 45-minute drive from the city) by taking a bus or by driving there using a private car.

Buses are available at the Annil Terminal located at Quirino and San Pedro Extension in Bankerohan. Upon arriving at the terminal, take a bus ride to Calinan. Once you reach Calinan, pedicabs (bikes connected to a passenger sidecar) are available to take you to the Philippine Eagle Center.

Taking a jeepney ride to Calinan is also an option. Several jeepneys going to Calinan are available at the Agdao Market and Bankerohan Market. You can also take your chances and ride a jeepney directly from San Pedro Street in Davao.

If you are unable to drive there with a private car or a rental, you can always get a taxi ride going to the center. The usual round-trip fixed price asked by the taxi drivers is ₱1,500 ($33). The price can be negotiated, and you should also inform the driver upfront how long you are planning to stay inside.

Travel Tips

The souvenir shops at the Philippine Eagle Center are located along the entrance of the Davao Water District. Be sure to check it out and get an exciting memorabilia of your visit in this one-of-a-kind sanctuary. Guided tours are offered depending on the availability of tour guides in the center. Find the best time to visit by contacting the PEF office.

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Author: radiantan. Last updated: Oct 31, 2014

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