The eagles have landed: Singapore shows off rare Philippine raptors

A male Philippine eagle named Geothermica is seen in an exclosure at Jurong Bird Park in Singapore on November 27, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 28 November 2019

The eagles have landed: Singapore shows off rare Philippine raptors

  • Destruction of tropical rainforest and relentless hunting have decimated the population of the Philippine Eagle
  • The bird of prey, which has white and brown plumage and an enormous wingspan, is classified as ‘critically endangered’

SINGAPORE: Singapore showed off two critically-endangered eagles Wednesday that were loaned from the Philippines as part of a breeding program to reverse the dwindling numbers of the feathered giants.
Destruction of tropical rainforest and relentless hunting have decimated the population of the Philippine Eagle — one of the world’s biggest and most powerful birds whose wingspan can reach 2 meters — with only around 800 believed left in the wild, conservationists say.
The birds, Geothermica and Sambisig, are the first breeding pair ever to be sent outside the Philippines and arrived in Singapore in June on a 10-year loan from Manila.
The creatures are being cared for at the city-state’s main aviary and were shown to the media Wednesday, as part of events marking 50 years of diplomatic relations between the countries.
“Any future offspring of the eagles will be returned to the Philippines to contribute to the sustainability of the species’ population,” said Wildlife Reserves Singapore, which runs the aviary.
The scheme has echoes of China’s “panda diplomacy,” which sees the Asian giant send the black and white bears to countries as gifts.

A breeding program is also being carried out in the Philippines by a small band of conservationists at a sanctuary outside the southern city of Davao, close to the eagles’ main forest habitat.
The bird of prey, which has white and brown plumage and an enormous wingspan, is classified as “critically endangered” by protection group the International Union for Conservation of Nature.


US sprinter beats Usain Bolt’s 200m world record - but only runs 185m

Updated 10 July 2020

US sprinter beats Usain Bolt’s 200m world record - but only runs 185m

  • Lyles was racing alone against competitors simultaneously sprinting on tracks in Europe.

LONDON: For a few fleeting minutes, US sprinter Noah Lyles thought he had broken the long-standing 200 meter world record at the Inspiration Games on Thursday.

Lyles, 22, is the 200m world champion and his time of 18.90 seconds would have smashed the 19.19 mark set by Jamaican superstar Usain Bolt in 2009.

But the headline time will not go into the history books after it was revealed he only ran 185 meters due to a blunder by the event organizers putting the starting line in the wrong place.

Lyles was racing alone against competitors simultaneously sprinting on tracks in Europe.

His staggering time was immediately challenged by commentators watching the event.

“You can’t be playing with my emotions like this....Got me in the wrong lane smh,” he tweeted. He later tweeted again to correct himself, saying he had in fact started on the wrong line. 

The farcical ending to one of the headline races in the event will be an embarrassment for the organizers who were banking on showing the world that technology can make a major international athletics event possible despite the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic.