Amid the gloom this ongoing health crisis may bring, stories of life and hope shine through like that of a water guard at AboitizPower generation unit Hedcor’s Sibulan Hydropower plant in Barangay Sibulan, Davao del Sur.
While running errands on Friday, May 8th, Renante Apal chanced upon a wild bird near the Sibulan River, which he thought had difficulty lifting itself off the ground.
“While I was at my workplace in one of the facilities of the power plant, I noticed a bird near the river having trouble flying,” Renante recounted.
Renante took the bird to safety indoors, gave it some water, and fed it chicken innards.
The bird was later identified as a serpent eagle, still in its early juvenile stage.
“Sukad ni abot si Hedcor diri sa among lugar, ginapanghimangnuan nami nila nga i-report kung aduna mi mga mananap nga makita para marescue ug mabalik sa kalasangan nga buhi (We’ve informed Hedcor whenever we find displaced wild animals so that they could be rescued and returned to their habitat well),” Renante said.
Since 2010, Hedcor has been implementing its biodiversity enhancement program within the Mt. Apo Natural Park in Sibulan, Sta Cruz, Davao del Sur. The organization has also been assessing the effects of its environmental initiatives to the improvement of wildlife and biodiversity conservation in the area.
Hedcor assisted Renante and brought the eagle to a local veterinary clinic. Operating four of its hydropower facilities in Davao del Sur, Hedcor has doubled as both a neighbor and a safe keeper of Mt. Apo’s wildlife and biodiversity for a decade now.
After three days of caring for the avian, Renante released the eagle back to the wild.
Dr. Bo Puentespina, Hedcor’s consultant wildlife veterinarian said that the raptor’s ability to fly back to its habitat was a clear indicator that it was properly nursed back to health.
Dr. Puentespina also commended the effectiveness of Hedcor’s wildlife education program among its team members and the local community.
“The locals really went through their agreed protocol of reporting [cases of wildlife rescue] and its condition. The protocol also of how to care for the rescued animal was followed,” said Dr. Puentespina.
“Slowly but surely, Hedcor’s education program is working. I’m happy that our efforts to educate Hedcor’s team members, as well as the locals, bore fruit,” he added.
The rescue of the Serpent Eagle is Hedcor’s third rescued raptor in the Sibulan area. In 2015, a Pinsker’s Hawk-eagle was rescued by a local after being entangled in tree roots, while in 2017, a Southern Philippine Hawk-eagle was again rescued after being injured by a gang of crows.
Hedcor is a run-of-river hydropower arm of AboitizPower. With 22 hydropower facilities over the Philippines, it has a total installed capacity of 277MW of Cleanergy, AboitizPower’s brand for clean and renewable energy.