News

The second Bearded Vulture hatched at the Wildlife Rescue Centre is already with Austrian citizenship

1
04/20/2016

Just a few days ago our younger baby Bearded Vulture took its first flight… on the wings of an airplane to Austria!

Only four days old, the baby was transported to its new family by Dr. Hans Frey, the manager of the Richard Faust specialized Bearded Vulture breeding centre near Vienna. This is actually the birth place of both parents kept at our Centre.
The travel started with an adventure - a three-hour-examination at Sofia Airport. We would like to congratulate and thank our colleagues from the Customs for their vigilance and scrutiny in examining both the documents and the carrier of the chick. Such excellent work is the only way to prevent smuggling and illegal trade on endangered species.

The odd passenger was finally accepted as a “hand luggage” on board a regular flight from Sofia to Austria. The examinations were exhausting for the baby so the chick had to be fed before getting on board. Fortunately, 1500 km later, the journey ended with success so both the baby vulture and Dr. Frey arrived safe but hungry in Vienna.

The whole adventure had to happen because the pair of Bearded Vultures at the Bulgarian Rescue Centre already care after their first-born baby. Only one chick survives in nature and returning the second baby to its parents would jeopardize its life, especially considering the 10 days difference between the two. At the same time our Bearded Vultures are a part of the

European Endangered Species Programme coordinated by VCF so we hope that at least one of the two babies would be released in the wild to contribute to the conservation of its species.  If this happens, the young vulture should not be imprinted, tame or used to people, but be raised by conspecifics.

This is what explains the odd journey - our second baby will be adopted by an adult Bearded Vulture, which has no baby this year. He will brood and feed it, teaching it to become a “real” vulture. Which of our chicks (if any) will be released into the wild is still to be decided by the coordinators of VCF, but we will certainly keep you posted!
 
Until then, our two babies are fine and well-kept, coping with the first big challenges of their fragile lives!
 
For more information, please contact:
Dr. Hristina Klisurova - Wildlife Rescue Centre
Tel.: +359886570083; e-mail: hhristova@greenbalkans.org