12 exotic toucans were confiscated by the customs officers at Kapitan Andreevo

12 exotic toucans were confiscated by the customs officers at Kapitan Andreevo

After the signal was sent and by order of the Ministry of Environment and Waters, the staff of the Wildlife Rescue Centre at Green Balkans took over the case and assisted the customs’ officers at the border control point. The confiscation documents were processed for several hours at the presence of the angry transporters of the birds. After an overall coordination with the MoEW and the Customs Agency, the birds were transported to the Sofia Zoo, where they were accommodated in a special isolator.

Exotic animals fall within the category of dangerous vectors of exotic diseases and therefore had to be quarantined. In addition to that, our colleagues from the zoo are more suited to accommodate such specialized exotic species, so most of these cases are forwarded to that CITES Rescue Centre.

Trade on protected species is a profitable business, leading to exterminating entire species from the wild. This type of trade is third, after trade on weapons and drugs on a global scale. Trade of wild animals and plants is among the factors threatening their survival into their natural environment. Every year million plants and animals are taken from thw wild in order to satisfy the collectors’ interests. Some 30 000 minkeys, 2 million orchids, 2-5 million birds, 10 million reptile skins, etc. are subjected to illegal trade per year on a global scale. Many of the species have vanished or are at the brink of extinction in result of the illegal trade.

What is CITES?
CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) represents an international agreement for nature conservation, aiming at preventing the extinction of species in result of trading with them. The Convention is also known as the Washington Convention. It was signed in 1973 and enforced on July 1st 1975. At present, a total of 173 countries have ratified the Convention. Among them is Bulgaria, which has ratified the Convention in 1991.

We are very grateful to Customs Agency and the MoEW for the well done job.
We are also grateful to our colleagues at Sofia Zoo for the adequate reaction and cooperation.

For more information on the logistics and organization of the case:
Ivailo Klisurov – Manager of the Wildlife Rescue Centre at Green Balkans
phone: +359 886570052, e-mai:

For more information on the birds and their care:
Ekaterina Zareva – Sofia Zoo
phone: + 359 878640252, e-mai:

For more information on CITES and the other EU regulations:
Valeri Georgiev – senior expert at NSNP / MoEW, enforcement of CITES in Bulgaria
phone: + 359 2 9406151, e-mai: