Milvus Group has started treating injured and seized birds several years ago with the aim to rehabilitate and release them back into nature. We receive more and more birds from people who want to help them, thus we decided that it is absolute necessary to enlarge and expand the Rehabilitation Centre. Our Bulgarian partner organization, Green Balkans has a vast experience in this field, for which reason we decided to visit them.
On the 6th of March, before dawn, we left towards Bulgaria. Our direction was Stara Zagora, where our Bulgarian colleagues were waiting for us to present their 20 years experience in the rehabilitation of wild animals and birds.
Eight people took part on this trip, four biologists from Milvus Group and four veterinarians from the Vets4Wild Association.
There we were welcomed by Ivaylo Klisurov, manager of the Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre from Stara Zagora. He spoke about the history of the Rescue Centre, which started back in 1990. In that period the Golden Eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) was treated in the bathroom, the injured owls and buzzards were in the bigger room. Their 20 years of experience helped establish a seriously planned and effective rehabilitation centre. By listening to the stories of the employees, we came back home with lots of instructive lessons about the hardness and the goodness of this work.
In the following day we visited the rehabilitation centre. Ivaylo guided us through every room. The path was the same an injured bird has to pass along when it arrives to the centre. We visited the operator, the surgery and we also had the opportunity to see the intensive care, but just for a couple of minutes, to avoid disturbing the birds. Ivan, Ivaylo`s colleague showed us the incubators used in breeding programs and he shared some tricks with us about how they put back the chicks in the nests. After they put the chicks hatched in an incubator in the nest they cover it with an egg-shelf, this way the parent birds think they hatched it. They showed us how they store the food for different species from the Centre.
Our final stop was the place where the breeding program of rare and protected species, like Saker Falcons (Falco cherrug) and Lesser Kestrels (Falco naumanni) is accomplished. At the entrance there are birds which cannot be released for different reasons. These can be visited freely by anyone. Ivaylo also presented their educational programmes, and means of receiving many people and children in the Rehabilitation Centre, without the visitors disturbing the rehabilitation of birds.
On the last day of our trip we visited the Sliven National Park. Before arriving, we already glanced the majestic Griffon Vultures (Gyps fulvus), introduced there by members of Green Balkans, soaring around the mountain top.
We left Bulgaria with great experiences and enthusiastm, already starting to plan how to continue our work in our Rehabilitation Centre.