Urgent action to rescue a tangled White Stork on a church in Milevo village

Urgent action to rescue a tangled White Stork on a church in Milevo village

The story began a few days back when the Regional Inspectorate of Environment and Water - Plovdiv got a signal for a hanging White Stork entangled in sisal on the dome of the church in Milevo. The mayor informed RIEW - Plovdiv, the municipal ecologist and the veterinarians of Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center. Everyone was searching for an opportunity to bring the stork down, but due to the ongoing fire at the Shishmantsi landfill nearby, the firefighters were completely unavailable in the coming days. The veterinarians, in turn, contacted the Green Balkans team in Plovdiv to help find a solution - the idea was to look for someone who had alpine equipment. We contacted colleagues and speleologists, mountaineers as well as Voluntary Formation 112 - Plovdiv. In the evening, a fire truck with a rig arrived at the church, but it turned out that the vehicle could not pass through the church garden’s fence so the rig could not reach the nest despite the commitment. The fellows from Voluntary Formation 112 - Plovdiv were ready to cooperate the next day in the afternoon. Please note that we did not have any detailed information - no photos nor videos that would otherwise be very useful to anyone trying to help. That is why the following day we decided to go and examine what kind of equipment is needed. At that time, the mayor of Milevo village contacted the local Internet provider - together they set up a ladder on the bell tower and released the stork. In fact, it turned out that the bird was not hanging but was in the nest. After being released, it even managed to take off, only to be caught later. When we arrived, we established that the stork's condition was very good, although both legs were entangled..

Oftentimes in cases with tangled sisal, the storks remain disabled, but this stork was lucky and will fully recover. We sent it off to the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center in Stara Zagora, where veterinarians will nourish the bird and release it afterwards.

The village of Milevo is surrounded by two NATURA 2000 zones - Maritsa protection area, declared under the Habitats Directive and Maritsa-Parvomay protection area - declared under the Birds Directive. Storks and other protected birds can easily find food on the riverside, but the garbage which they use to "arrange" their nests is a great threat ...
We thank the mayor of Milevo village - Boris Peshev, and the Internet provider company "BGB" who released the stork; RIEW Plovdiv, the local ecologist, Ministry of Environment and Water, Fire Safety and Population Protection Regional Directorate Plovdiv, speleologists and climbers, Voluntary Formation 112 - Plovdiv, Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center - approximately fifty people involved with the signal.

We kindly ask everyone who reports a signal - please collect as much information, photos, videos etc. as possible together with a detailed description and, whenever possible, cooperate with the institutions.

For protected species in danger, contact the Environment and Water Regional Inspectorates - here you can find their mobile phones:

For consultation and advice - you can contact the veterinarians at the Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Center -

The information about the Natura sites near Milevo village was prepared by the project team: