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Dec 14, 2009

Hope the Harpie Eagle released into the wild

Story PictureIt is the largest eagle in the world and for years, Belize has been working in restoring the numbers of the birds in the country. And today after a week in quarantine, the Harpy eagle, Hope was released into the wild near Blue Creek in the Orange Walk District. Hope is the fifteenth eagle that has been released in the country and the Belize Zoo who is responsible for the venture says that there are hopes for the eagle specie to multiply in the near future. News Five spoke with Founding Director of the Belize Zoo, Sharon Matola, who says that the introducing the bird into the country is also beneficial for its impact on climate change.

Sharon Matola, Founding Director, Belize Zoo
“We had Hope the Harpie eagle who came up last week, a very strange arrival to Belize. He sat in quarantine for about a week and went, thanks to the B.D.F., to Blue Creek, where we had a wonderful ceremony with the villagers because they have been supporting our work up there. And then we drove to the remote release site and released this beautiful eagle into the wild and as we drove out, I could hear him call. So it’s another eagle to assist in the balance of nature here, but also importantly, this eagle is tied in with climate change. Right now, as I speak, our Deputy Prime Minister, the Minister of Natural Resources and his C.E.O. Earl Green of the Climate Change Commission; everybody is in Copenhagen and taking place there are some vital meetings about climate change. Well you know what? It has been scientifically proven that one of the best defenses in reducing the negative impact in climate change is to keep habitat in good condition and by doing so we improve the future for our future generations but also give those Harpie eagles a great chance to survive in the future. Hope the Harpie eagle is number fifteen and there should be getting reports of bonding or mating behaviour and to have this magnificent rapture back into our forest is just absolutely too cool for words. I’m just thrilled.”

An adult harpy eagle weighs about twenty pounds with a wingspan of about seven feet.


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