Two Thai's ran through the rubber next to my jungle home,
looking to the treetops. I thought they were squirrel hunting and yelled at
them to stop hunting, but then saw they had no gun. I found it a bit strange
and forgot it.
A month later, the neighborhood lush saw a white belly in the rubber trees
and shot it with a slingshot, then put it on display in front of his house
with an asking price of B2,000 (US$55). The bird's left wing joint was
damaged by the slingshot, but would repair naturally. The real damage was
the severely cropped tertiaries, feathers that give the eagle lift and
The clipped wings put it all together. The eagle escaped its prisoners, the
two guys running through the rubber. It could hop and climb its way across
the rubber tree tops, but could not fly naturally, making it easy prey for
I visited the bird a few times, always telling the slingshot artist I didn't
After a month of no takers, Mr. Slingshot gave the bird to some kind but
poor neighbors. They didn't know raptor rehabbing, but they treated the bird
with love albeit tied to a small tree with a rope. The eagle got dinner
scraps, not much and certainly not natural diet, but enough to keep it
I felt for the entire situation, eagle and caretakers, so I took to feeding
the eagle myself, massaging it after every meal. Finally, the good folks
could see that I could take better care of the bird and gave it to me.
Big problem. I had to seize the moment, but we had no fly cage facilities.
and 17 street dogs. Unlike "Baby",
who grew up with the dogs from two months and thoroughly intimidated them as
it dominated the house, Lohngie is about three years and naturally afraid of
brother-in-law built a large cage in just one day - around the eagle while
it patiently watched. Amporn called the eagle "Lohngie", the affectionate
version of "Lost the Way" in Thai.
I'm sad that Lohngie sits in jail waiting for his feathers to grow back so
he can finally soar like an eagle. Lohngie's coloration suggests he's 3-4
years old, ready to reach adulthood in another year or so. The small size
says Lohngie is a male (the male is smaller in most raptors), and one day
soon he will look for a mate and find a territory. I've already got on
picked out near a hotel with a large grass beach backed by a jungle
mountainside. I've never seen established eagles in that neighborhood, so
perhaps Lohngie can establish a territory without a squabble.
Look for a new page in a couple of months as we train Lohngie to fly again,
and another page when the great day comes to release Lohngie again so he can
"Fly Like An Eagle".