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Rare Bird: Philippine Eagle Chick Born in Captivity

Dec 14, 2015 03:01 PM EST

The Philippine eagle, also called by the impressive name "monkey-eating eagle," has low numbers in the world -- maybe 600 at this point -- but recently added an eaglet hatched in captivity.

No word yet on how monkeys are greeting this news. 

This type of eagle has a wingspan measuring about 6.6 feet and very broad wings, although its wings are shorter than some eagles that live in open country. It lives in forests, especially in steep areas. More than 60 species of eagle live in the world, with the majority living in Eurasia and Africa, according to the BirdLife website

The new eaglet was born at a conservation center, the Philippine Eagle Foundation (PEF), in at country's southern Davao province. It is the first of its kind to be born at such a center in two years. Thirty-three other eagles are in a very large cage at the center, according to the website.

This type of eagle is the Philippines' national bird and is classified as "critically endangered" because of rainforest habitat loss and hunting.

Fortunately, the eaglet seems spry and in good health: "At two days old, this baby eagle can already lift its head and get food from forceps. It's also very active, attentive and observant of its surroundings," conservation center curator Anna Mae Sumaya said in a statement.

"This hatching is a big breakthrough for us and is the result of nearly five years of round robin pairing amongst our younger set of eagles at the center," PEF Executive Director Dennis Salvador said in the statement. "We are proud of our conservation breeding team for their perseverance at this very challenging task."

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-Follow Catherine on Twitter @TreesWhales

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