A new formed pair of Egyptian Vultures featuring a bird raised and released from the Green Balkans Rescue Centre

A new formed pair of Egyptian Vultures featuring a bird raised and released from the Green Balkans Rescue Centre

Zara is the third captive-bred Egyptian Vulture to form a pair in the wild!

​​​This year she returned early from Africa like all adult Egyptian ​Vultures. After a short ​trip to Romania, Zara returned to the Eastern Rhodopes in search of a​​ home and a young husband. Just a month later, she discovered both. Currently, Zara and her chosen one inhabit an extensive nesting territory near Kardzhali. They probably won't start laying eggs and raising young this year, but that's perfectly normal for young ​pairs.

​​Zara is the third Egyptian ​Vulture released within the framework of the program​me​ to strengthen the population of the species in Bulgaria, which ​later ​formed a pair in the wild. Before her, this was done by​ Boyana and​ her younger sister Izzy​.

​​​Zara's story is more than extraordinary. In 2020, when Zara was released by the ​BSPB into the wild, she was not coping particularly well with the adaptation and challenges of her new life. As a result, she lost weight quickly, but thanks to the GPS transmitter on her back, we kept a close eye on her every move. We alerted colleagues at WWF-Greece to Zara's location and they immediately responded ​and found her - exhausted and dehydrated. Zara and our team had two options – either she was​ to  be​ returned and put into the breeding program​me​ or given a second chance ​for freedom ​after a short recovery. The decision was not easy, but our team decided to give her a second chance, and after a few days on a nutritional regimen, Zara was released back into the wild. She made excellent use of this new opportunity and quickly adapted by finding her own food, sleeping in safe places and surviving against all odds. To date, Zara has visited 16 countries on three continents, but always returns to her "native" Eastern Rhodopes. This story confirms that sometimes all we need is a second chance!

​​​We remind you that Zara hatched in 2018 and ​was reared ​in the Green Balkans Wildlife ​Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre. Two years later, she was released by the ​BSPB in the Eastern Rhodopes as part of the program​me​ to strengthen the ​population of the ​endangered  species on the Balkan Peninsula. Zara was released using the delayed release method, which means the young vultures go through a two-month adaptation period in a purpose-built, spacious aviary called the Vulture School. During the month of May, the vultures are released into the wild to give them enough time before the autumn migration to gain skills and experience to ​survive in the wild.