Rescue operation

Wildlife Rescue Centre

One of the methods used for the preservation of animal species threatened with extinction is the so called conservation “ex situ” or “beyond natural environment”.
This method involves first aid, medical treatment, and rehabilitation of wild animals in distress, as well as implementation of breeding programs, release back into the wild, etc.
In this regard, Green Balkans’ Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center in Stara Zagora is the only facility of this kind functioning in the country.

The idea for the establishment of a specialized clinic for wild animals in distress was brought forth in the period 1990–1993 by supporters and founders of Green Balkans. Later on, in the period 1994-1995, the Center was already established and developed as a specialized unit of Green Balkans’ work related to rehabilitation, treatment, recovery, and release of rare wild animals or species threatened with extinction. By then, in an area of 6,300 sq. m., more than 50 facilities for rehabilitation, treatment, and breeding of rare species had been constructed. These included 1,100 sq. m. of aviaries, veterinary outpatient clinic, service premises, flight cages, and premises for rehabilitation therapy.

The base and the initial facilities were provided by the Vocational School of Veterinary Medicine – Stara Zagora and the Thracia University. The establishment and development of the Center involved more than 250 voluntary activists of Green Balkans from all over the country. The specialized veterinary care is provided with the assistance of “Dr. Tsekov Private Vet Clinics” and “Thracia University – Stara Zagora”. The Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center is an official Rescue Center, assisting the Ministry of Environment and Waters in the enforcement of the Biological Diversity Act.

• Providing facilities needed for sheltering confiscated rare animals of the Bulgarian fauna, that have been subject to illegal trade;
• Providing treatment and rehabilitation of rare species in distress (wounded or exhausted) and releasing them back into the wild;
• Breeding permanently impaired raptors that cannot be released back into the wild;
• Developing programs for reintroduction and support for the population of globally threatened species such as Bearded Vulture, Griffon Vulture, Imperial Eagle, Black Vulture, and Lesser Kestrel; implementing youth programs for environmental education.

Annually, the Center receives more than 600 wild animals that need medical treatment. More than 30-40% of them are released successfully back into the wild. These animals include species of high nature conservation status such as Eagles, Vultures, Falcons, Pelicans, etc.

The Center has established a Volunteers’ Network throughout the country. Almost 300 voluntary activists assist in rendering first aid, transporting, and caretaking of wild animals in the Center.

In 2002, the Minister of Environment and Waters designated the Center as a CITES Rescue Center in accordance with the Convention on the Illegal Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

More information about the Rescue Center, its work, and how you can help is available at the Center’s website.