Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna

A pair of Griffon vultures laid first egg at Wildlife Center Rakitna

The female Griffon vulture Saniye laid an egg at the Wildlife Center in Rakitna. The bird has only one wing due to shooting by a poacher in Turkey. The male vulture named K0J has suffered an uneasy fate too, ended with severe wing’s injury. The vulture pair brought the major gift to the LIFE for Kresna Gorge team, just in the last year of the project. Wildlife Center in Rakitna was built in the frame of the project for rehabilitation and breeding of vultures, deer and tortoises.

Saniye is an adult female, which arrived from Cataluna, Spain, in June 2014, within the Vultures Return in Bulgaria LIFE08 NAT/BG/278 Project. Here she was tagged with a ring and matching wing-tags K8X, as well as fitted with a special GPS/GSM transmitter. In September 2014 she was released from the adaptation aviary above Kotel.
The transmitter allowed us to follow the amazing journey of K8X to the North, through Romania and Moldova and back South through Bulgaria and all the way to Turkey. Here K8X stayed until January 2015. Then the strange coordinates of the transmitter came with a phone call to Green Balkans team. It turned out that K8X had been shot by a poacher and later rescued by some people close to Balabankuru.

The bird was transported to the Veterinarian Faculty and admitted by Prof. Dr. Serhat Orszoy. She needed a surgery and a slow and painful recovery. Here the vulture got her name – Saniye. The moment the treatment started, we also started the preparation of the documents required for her return. Together there was decided that it was better for the bird to come back to Bulgaria, where she can join a captive breeding programme and help the recovery of her species  despite being injured. And here Saniye came at Wildlife Center in Rakitna.
The male vulture K0J is a Spanish bird too, which has been released in Kotel Mountain by FWFF team. After a year in the wild, it has received a strong wing’s trauma and survived only about a month near the feeding site. It was rehabilitated in the Wildlife and Rehabilitation Center Stara Zagora and transported to Kresna Gorge in 2013, but after destroying of acclimatization aviary by hurricane winds, the bird flew away and fell down in Struma River. The thrilling story of K0J brought him at Wildlife Center in Rakitna in the same aviary with Saniye.

Congratulation for the first laid egg by a pair of Griffon vultures at Wildlife Center Rakitna! Wish it good luck with hatching and hopefully flying over the Kresna Gorge some day!