It is our great honor to introduce our Hero at Manila Ocean Park.
No, he’s not a noble man who’s done heroic acts. He’s not a warrior who fought thousands of battles. He’s a juvenile White Bellied-Sea Eagle named Hero, our newest bird of prey.
Hero was turned over to Manila Ocean Park from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and has been staying in the park’s aviary for almost two months.
Manila Ocean Park’s Executive Vice President, Francis Low, affirms that Hero has the potential to be an outstanding bird of prey. With 8 years of experience in handling and training birds, he could already tell that there’s greatness in Hero that can be unleashed with proper care and training.
As a former professional bird trainer, Mr. Low can easily and expertly determine the bird’s form by merely touching the bird’s chest without any hesitation. It took several years of expertise and experience before he was able to confidently do so. Hero was at ease, sensing his steady left hand. In just a few moments, Mr. Low already gained Hero’s trust to allow him to touch his chest.
Francis Low inspecting the chest of Hero, the White Bellied Sea Eagle juvenile
According to Mr. Low, Hero is currently above the optimum weight. Based on his experience, the ideal weight for a White Bellied Sea Eagle to fly and glide at ease is around 1.8 to 1.9 kg. If the bird is too heavy, it will not fly well and will get tired easily. If the bird is underweight, it won’t have the sufficient strength and energy, causing the bird to feel constantly hungry and aggressive. Hero’s present weight is around 2.3 kg and is currently under a controlled and healthy balanced diet with premium multivitamins while training.
Mr. Low also used to train White Bellied Sea Eagles back when he was a professional bird trainer in Singapore. The first White Bellied Sea Eagle that he trained was named Speed. He handled and trained Speed for more than 6 years, doing extraordinary exhibitions, continuously discovering his (and Speed’s) abilities along the way.
Having Hero brings back memories of Speed, making Mr. Low hope to develop Hero to have the same capabilities of Speed. At the moment, Hero is training how to “fly” and is manned around the park to become familiar with his new environment before he’s allowed to fly in the open. Last March 9, 2016 was Hero’s first time to fly outside. He’s seen to be an incredibly focused eagle and only needs more time before he performs together with the All Star Bird Show crew.
Flying session ongoing! Soar high, Hero!
Finally, Hero can stretch his wings and fly higher than ever and live longer with the help of the park’s outstanding care and nourishment. Mr. Low wishes for nothing else but for Hero to grow healthy and well. May Hero fly further and higher as the king of the sky!
“We share a part of the world. We should do everything in our capability to help and protect as much as we could.” – Francis Low, Executive Vice President, Manila Ocean Park
Manila Ocean Park’s banner CSR program is called “I LOVE MY OCEAN PLANET” . A campaign that encourages volunteerism, public education and community mobilization activities designed to increase public awareness and action on coastal management issues and instil pride in our country’s natural resources. It is an expanded responsibility of stewardship not only with marine biodiversity but also with other creatures who are dependent on the wellness of the ocean.
Manila Ocean Park is fully aware of its obligation to reach a broad public and impart necessary information relevant to current environmental issues. It is our aim that the “Back to the Wild” Release program will be a step in the right direction for marine education and conservation. We hope that more people will do their share in ensuring the future generations will be able to enjoy and see these fascinating animals in their natural habitat.