One of the most eye-catching symbols of Davao is the Monkey-eating Eagle; one of the largest eagles in the world. Supposedly, each bird requires 100sq.km of native forest (and presumably, a never ending supply of monkeys) to survive. This is the problem the bird faces as like anywhere else in the world, human and animal populations clash.
I visited the centre on my first trip to Davao in 2000. At that time, it was quite impressive. Unfortunately, the last 12 years seem to have passed by with little or no new investment. The area outside the centre is a mess of broken concrete including a roller skating rink that was probably conceived as the next ‘big thing’ and then went out of fashion and into disrepair. The moss-covered development concept plan doesn’t help as it shows the scale of the unfullfilled dreams.
The birds are magnificent, but such a high profile tourist attraction (it features in all of Davao’s tourism publicity) ought to be aiming at mimicking the likes of Singapore’s and Kuala Lumpur’s bird gardens to really bring in the visitors.
Situated on the cool slopes of Mt Apo, the centre gets more than a normal share of rain, but there is virtually nowhere for visitors to shelter. I had to seek refuge with another family under a climbing frame while the rain poured down for 20 minutes and the paths turned to a slippery mush of mud.