Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has officially adopted a juvenile female Philippine eagle and named it Sakura after Japan's unofficial national flower also known as cherry blossoms.
Philippine Eagle Foundation Inc. Executive Director Dennis Salvador said the 2-year old Sakura was rescued in Talaingod, Davao del Norte last year after sustaining a gunshot injury.
Salvador said the bullet is still lodged in its groin area, but Sakura is now recuperating.
He said they are still assessing if they should remove the bullet through an operation as it is already embedded in the eagle's tissues.
With the adoption, Salvador said the Japanese government pledged to donate at least ₱125,000 annually for the next five years.
He said this amount will be a big help to Sakura's rehabilitation and sustenance.
The ceremonial eagle naming and adoption was instigated by the Philippine government and was readily accepted by Abe.
Japan was the first foreign government to adopt an eagle, Salvador said.