A Pair of Carthals Was Donated to the Sofia Zoo, as a Part of the Reintroduction  Activities for the Species.

A Pair of Carthals Was Donated to the Sofia Zoo, as a Part of the Reintroduction Activities for the Species.

A pair of Black Vultures  arrived at the  Sofia Zoo in support of the program for the return of the species to Bulgaria. The birds are donated from the Government  of Extremadura – the Kingdom of Spain. It is expected that their descendants will  join with the already released in the wild birds, who for the first time this year had offsprings in the wild nature of Bulgaria.

The two newly-arrived birds Sophia and Badahos are already a formed couple, which gives hope for recent descendants. They are permanently disabled, thus can’t be released in the wild and will live in the Zoo. Their fledglings may be included in the adaptation program through the so called aviary (  safe outdoor fences),then could be released at freedom. More about the programme can see here.

Sophia and Badahos are donated to Sofia Zoo by means of “Bright future for the Black Vulture” project LIFE 14 NAT / BG / 000649, it represents a mutual initiative of partners of four European countries – “Green Balkans – Stara Zagora” NGO , the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna and  the Birds of Prey Protection Society from Bulgaria, Vulture Conservation Foundation from the Netherlands , Junta de Extremadura from Spain and  Euronatur from Germany. 

“We hope the newly-formed couple wоuld have offsprings  in about four years”, explained Hristo Peshev  from the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna  - initiators for donating of vultures to the Zoo.

“It is a species of exceptional  value for Bulgaria and the Zoo. That was the favorite bird of Tsar Ferdinand,   who was the establisher of the  Zoological garden”,shared Dobromir Borislavov  LA –Director of the Zoological garden in Sofia. The Zoo  has traditions in rearing and breeding of vultures. Since 2000 it has  participated in the efforts for the conservation and restoration of Griffon and Egyptian Vultures, and now the largest and most impressive species – the Black Vulture becomes part of the conservation program of the zoo. The zoo is part of an international coordinated network of zoos called EAZA (European Association of Zoos and Aquaria - EAZA) that supports  the return of species that are extinct in the wild..

In 2021, the programme for the species, implemented for decades by the conservation organizations " the Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna " and "Green Balkans" has been successful. Near Kotel, where conservationists gradually adapt and release captive vultures, there are already two nesting pairs. One of them has offspring from this spring and in September flew a hatched black vulture - for the first time in a quarter of a century after the species was officially declared extinct in the country. With this, thanks to the conservation program for the return of the species, the Black Vulture (Carthal) is once again successfully nesting in Bulgaria.

Find out more about the Black Vulture Recovery Program - here

For further information:
Fund for Wild Flora and Fauna - Hristo Peshev - +359 897820785;
Zoo – Public Relations Expert: Irina Sahatchieva, tel. +359 999 8800 0878 640 183,