Pamana: Endangered eagle regains freedom on Independence Day

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Pamana soars to freedom shortly release on June 12, Independence Day, at the buffer zone of Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Barangay La Union, San Isidro, Davao Oriental.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) – In English, her name means "heritage" or "legacy" or "inheritance."

Pamana is a three-year old Philippine Eagle that was released into the wild last June 12, 2015 by the Philippine Eagle Foundation and the government of Davao Oriental province to commemorate the 117th celebration of Philippine Independence Day.

The ceremony was held at at the buffer zone of the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary in Barangay La Union in San Isidro town.

Pamana2_CNNPH.jpg A closeup view of Pamana shortly before her release. Pamana was rescued three years ago as an eaglet surviving two gunshot wounds. She was found in mountain range of Gabunan in Iligan City, Lanao del Norte.

The gunshot wounds point to the persistent threat to the Philippine Eagles – hunting.

The critically endangered raptors are also threatened by deforestation, as only 400 pairs are left in the wild.

To help with conservation, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF) has also partnered with indigenous people – particularly the Bagobo Klata and Obu Manuvu groups. These groups are encouraged to become "forest guards" in exchange for assistance from the PEF.

According to PEF, the groups involved in Pamana's release conducted informational activities in nearby communities. This is to avoid accidentally shooting or trapping the Philippine eagle, who can often be mistaken for another bird.

"There's always that fear for every eagle out there in the wild, they are very vulnerable to shooting," said Vida Dumadag, communications officer for the PEF.  

Pamana3_CNNPH.jpg After her release, Pamana perches on a tree to take a short rest before flying deep into the forest of the Mount Hamiguitan Range Wildlife Sanctuary. Pamana is still under observation, as she is not native to Mount Hamiguitan. It will take two or three more years before she can breed.  The PEF has installed satellite and radio transmitters to her body to monitor her movement patterns.

 "We'll have to see how she will adapt to her new environment. Hopefully she will find a mate and hopefully they will breed," Dumadag said.

The Philippine eagle or monkey-eating eagle is one of the biggest eagles in the world, with a wingspan that can spread up to seven feet.

CNN Philippines' stringer Ben Tesiorna contributed to this report.