Philippine eagle lands in NZ
A plea made on 12 December 1902 for sanctuary for a rare Philippine eagle received an unsympathetic response from New Zealand officials.
Mr Bruce, Secretary of the Acclimatisation Society, Christchurch, sent a telegram to the Department of Internal Affairs asking if the eagle could be kept in the botanical gardens. It had been caught by sailors on a boat near Westport, well away from its natural home in the Philippines. The Philippine eagle, one of the rarest birds in the world, has been pushed to the point of extinction by deforestation and shooting in the Philippines. It is one of the largest eagles in the world with a wingspan of 1.9 metres and can weigh up to 8 kilograms.
None of this cut any ice with officialdom here. Bruce was told that Section 28 of the Animal Protection Act “prohibits the introduction of birds of prey which would apparently include the Phillipine (sic) eagle.” The bird’s fate is unknown
Shown here is Bruce’s telegram.
Archives Reference: ACGO 8333 IA1/872/ 1902/4697
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