Bad news for the baby vulture from Tuzha… the baby died due to an acute ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity)

Bad news for the baby vulture from Tuzha… the baby died due to an acute ascites (accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity)

Dear friends, we need to share some very sad news for our entire team. Unfortunately the baby vulture from Tuzha, hatched at the Rescue Centre, died on May 12th...

Just a few days ago we published information that the chick was vital and healthy and we were very hopeful about its survival and rearing, explaining all the options we had to consider: We would like to remind you that having consulted a number of international experts and two attempts to have the chick adopted by a foster parent at the Centre, we had to turn to rearing at the Rescue Centre, while preventing the imprinting of the baby. This is why we moved it from the incubator to a bigger, specially prepared premise, where we placed a vulture dummy. The fact that the baby was feeding on its own, filled us with hope that it would easily gain weight without human interference and hand-rearing.

Unfortunately just a few days following the moving of the chick, it started eating less so we had to go back to hand feeding and treat it with antibiotics. “Seconds after the lunch feeding, the bird collapsed and fell into a pulmonic block. It had heartbeat but would not breathe. We placed it on external ventilation for over two hours. We used medications stimulating breathing in the course of resuscitation (adrenaline, ephedrine). Unfortunately nothing helped and minutes after we ceased the ventilation, the heart stopped.” Says Dr. Klisurova of the Rescue Centre.

The team of the veterinarians of the Rescue Centre immediately performed a necropsy, which revealed a massive accumulation of fluids in all air sacks. The kidneys and mucous membranes were very pale, almost white. The cause of death was therefore identified as ascites. Ascites can be caused by various diseases or environmental factors. The manipulations required – catching after the feeding, fixing, injecting and the related stress have most probably triggered the rapid worsening of the state of the bird.

The entire team of the Rescue Centre, which was looking after the baby day and night, is really devastated, as we had great hopes for releasing the vulture back into the wild. We are confident that we were doing the best we could for this bird. Unfortunately, such situations only show that they are things beyond the good intentions and human possibilities. 

For more information, please contact: for the actions at the Rescue Centre – Dr. Hristina Klisurova, е-mail:, phone: + 359 0886570053
Elena Stoeva – project manager LIFE14 NAT/BG/649 -  e-mail:, phone: + 359 887574699