Necropsy of the Philippine eagle that washed ashore on September 19 began as soon as it arrived in Davao City on September 20, 2022. An X-ray scan was performed on the carcass and no bone fracture and abnormality was seen. Xray however showed an air gun pellet lodged inside its left thigh. But there was no open wound., which means the shooting happened some time ago and the wound already healed. No other body injuries were visible.
Its muscular and skeletal structure are good and in tact but the state of its decomposition made it difficult to confirm whether the bird had any illness or disease when it was alive. The most probable cause of death though is drowning. Based on its weight and physical characteristics, the Philippine eagle is estimated to be a young female, less than 4 years old. This age suggests that the eagle is yet sexually immature, unpaired and without a territory. It belongs to a segment of the wild eagle population that are referred to as “floaters” or “surplus” - eagles that wait until they are ready to mate and occupy their own territory.
This incident is the third recorded case of an eagle crashing into the coastal seas of Maasim town in Sarangani Province. But on Mindanao island, this is already the 8th case of a Philippine eagle crashing into the sea.