16 February 2023, Singapore – Dr. Luis Carlos Neves, Vice President of the Mandai Wildlife Group, and Mr. Elden Gabayoyo, Manager of the Animal Care Department of the Jurong Bird Park (to be reopened as Bird Paradise), paid a courtesy call on Ambassador Medardo G. Macaraig on 16 February 2023 to discuss the current status and conservation efforts of the Mandai Wildlife Group accorded to the two (2) Philippine Eagles, Sambisig and Geothermica, the first and only Philippine Eagles to be housed outside the Philippines.
In 2019, as part of the Golden Jubilee celebration of the establishment of Philippines-Singapore bilateral relations, Singapore’s Jurong Bird Park (JBP) welcomed the arrival of the pair of critically-endangered Philippine Eagles under a 10-year renewable conservation breeding loan agreement signed between the DENR and the Mandai Wildlife Group. Sam and Geo play a crucial role as ambassadors of Philippine biodiversity.
With the closure of Jurong Bird Park in January 2023, the 20-hectare park with 130 staff and about 3,500 birds, including the 2 Philippine eagles, are in the process of moving to Bird Paradise at the Mandai Wildlife Reserve, by the second quarter of this year. The Bird Paradise will join the Singapore Zoo, River Wonders, and Night Safari, as well as Mandai’s other upcoming attractions like the Rainforest Wild and a new eco-resort to be developed and operated by Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts.
During the courtesy call, Ambassador Macaraig shared that he strongly advocates wildlife conservation awareness which will benefit the future generations and will give them renewed appreciation for the environment and biodiversity.
Mandai Wildlife Group has been actively supporting PH conservation efforts on critically endangered animals. In 2012, two pairs of Luzon bleeding-hearts, a species of ground dove endemic to the Philippines, were sent to JBP as part of a conservation breeding agreement among JBP, Avilon Zoo and the DENR. After eight years, 10 progenies have made their way home with hopes of being reintroduced back to the wild in the Philippines. Jurong Bird Park is the only zoological institution outside of the Philippines that is part of a breeding programme repatriating the successful offspring of the Luzon bleeding-hearts to their native range country. (END)