One of the rarest and most iconic birds in the world - The Imperial eagle, was shot near Yambol

One of the rarest and most iconic birds in the world - The Imperial eagle, was shot near Yambol

An Imperial eagle was found in serious condition in the fields near Yambol.

On September 20th, a Bulgarian Society for the Protection of Birds (BSPB) team found the bird, thanks to its GPS/GSM transmitter, in a helpless state. The bird was later admitted at the Green Balkans Wildlife Rescue Centre. After an examination by the Centre's veterinarians, it was found that the eagle was undoubtedly a victim of poachers, shot with a hunting weapon, with a broken left-wing, and the evidence for this is the 16 bullets found in his body as a result of radiography.

The Imperial eagle is a young bird marked by BSPB with a GPS/GSM transmitter this summer in a nest near Elhovo city. The transmitters make it possible to receive real-time information about the exact geographical coordinates of the birds' location and to monitor their condition. Satellite and GPS/GSM telemetry data reveal important information about the species, including the threats to its population. The specific case is an example of one of the most serious threats - illegal shooting.

According to the veterinary specialists of the Rescue Centre, where the bird is being treated, its condition remains critical. After the X-ray, the bullets are found all over the body, including in the area of ​​the end vertebrae of the spine, where they can lead to the permanent immobilization of the eagle.
The case has been reported to all responsible institutions, including the prosecutor's office, from where we hope to initiate pre-trial proceedings soon.

The Imperial eagle is a globally endangered species and its persecution falls under the provisions of the Penal Code, which provides for imprisonment of up to 5 years and a fine of BGN 5,000 to 20,000! Only a few days ago, a poacher was arrested by the police, for killing dozens of endangered birds and mammals, and an investigation is currently underway. In the last few years, there were three more cases of Imperial eagles being shot, known thanks to transmitters.

The Imperial eagle is one of Bulgarian nature's most emblematic species, revered by our ancestors as a sacred bird that drives away hail clouds and saves crops. In recent years, thanks to long-term and purposeful conservation efforts, the number of its nests in Bulgaria has increased to 46. The loss of even just one bird has a detrimental effect on the entire population. Shooting of this kind is an action directed not only against the efforts to preserve, nature and species, but also against the morals and traditions of our people.

Ivaylo Klisurov - Manager of the Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center, phone: 0886570052, e-mail:

Stoycho Stoychev, Director of Nature Protection at BSPB, telephone: 0878599375, e-mail: