A second Imperial Eagle Shot in Bulgaria in one week.

Last week we published details of the shooting in Bulgaria of an Imperial eagle, one of Europe’s most endangered birds of prey. You can read the full article here. The eagle had been shot by hunters in the leg and sternum. Following intensive surgery the lead pellets were removed and the broken leg was reset by Dr Hristina Klisurova at the Green Balkans Wildlife & Rehabilitation Centre, in Stara Zagora. The eagle is reported to be making a good recovery, and it is hoped after a period of rehabilitation the eagle can be returned back into the wild as soon as possible.

We have now received more disappointing news from the Green Balkans Centre regarding the discovery of a second Imperial eagle which had also been shot. The bird was alive when found on the 2nd February. The bird was immediately taken to the Rehabilitation Centre at Stara Zagora where Dr Klisurova carried out surgery to save the bird’s life.


We are happy to tell you that the bird withstood more than two hours of surgery and successfully recovered from the anaesthesia.


Now is the crucial time of postoperative recovery. Dr Klisurova tells us that she and her experienced staff were concerned, to some extent that the bird was refusing to eat.


However there have been encouraging signs because after a few hours following the operation the eagle is now taking food offered by hand, and appears to have more autonomy today. She has even started to swallow the food she has been given without the need to push it down the throat with a finger. The behaviour the eagle is demonstrating of course are all signs of the trauma and shock, together with the contact with humans which is a typical reaction.


There was more good news this morning, a day after the surgery, the bird is standing upright in its cage and is resting the leg operated on.


Everyone at the rehab centre are optimistic the eagle will continue to show positive signs of recovery in the days ahead.


Repaired and on the way to a full recovery

We extend our thanks to the veterinarians and the dedicated staff of the Centre for the care and attention that they have given to this majestic bird.


Green Balkans is a leading organization in the field of the conservation of rare species and habitats in Bulgaria. The Organization was established in 1988 making it Bulgaria’s oldest nature conservation NGO. For its almost 20 years of existence, Green Balkans has won recognition from international and national institutions, authorities, and donors as a welcome partner and a highly reputable and competent organization. This is demonstrated by the public confidence in the Organization and its almost 4,500 Bulgarian and foreign members.

In 1992, the Green Balkans Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre (WRBC) was established (as part of the Green Balkans Federation of NGOs) in Stara Zagora, Bulgaria. It is recognized as an official rescue and rehabilitation centre as a result of special order ? 232/14.03.2003 of the Minister of Environment and Waters as part of the Bulgarian Biodiversity Act.

The centre focuses on the rehabilitation of injured wildlife, and specializes in the treatment of threatened and endangered raptors (birds of prey). It is an official CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Fauna and Flora) centre and is responsible for the care of wild animals involved in illegal trading in Bulgaria. It is also a breeding centre aiming to increase the populations of some species (Imperial Eagle, Griffon Vulture) and the reintroduction into the wild of others (Bearded Vulture, Black Vulture).

Annually, approximately 600 wild animals (mostly raptors) are treated at the centre, with approximately 40% successfully released back into the wild. The centre most often treats species of high conservation status such as eagles, vultures, falcons, herons, egrets, pelicans and storks.

The WRBC and the regional office in Stara Zagora have an active environmental and biodiversity conservation education program and give presentations to schools, governments and the public.

The WRBC receives some financial support from the Bulgarian government, but mostly relies on donations and grants from private organizations. They are supported by many volunteers and work with many organizations such as the European Voluntary Service, The International Nature Network, BTCV and the United States Peace Corps.

The information and images are reproduced here with the kind approval of the Green Balkans Rehab Centre.

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