Pag-asa would have turned 29 next week. AFP/Ted Aljibe
MANILA - The first Philippine eagle bred in captivity in an effort to save one of the world's most endangered birds has died from infections, conservationists said.
The raptor named "Pag-asa" or "Hope" was hatched in 1992 at a sanctuary run by the Philippine Eagle Foundation on the outskirts of the southern city of Davao.
Pag-asa would have turned 29 next week.
The Philippines' national bird, known for its elongated nape feathers that form into a shaggy crest, has seen its population devastated by the destruction of rainforests and hunting in the archipelago.
The centre has spent decades trying to ensure the survival of the critically endangered bird through a breeding programme and rehabilitating wounded raptors brought in from the wild.
Only around 800 are believed to be left in the wild, the centre's spokeswoman, Nelizza Marzo, told AFP.
Pag-asa died from infections associated with diseases trichomoniasis and aspergillosis, which the centre said were fatal in raptors.
"Although treatment was done over a week ago, he continued to deteriorate and died," it said in a statement.
The centre has 33 Philippine eagles in its care. They can live for more than 40 years in captivity.