This time, what will bring us back to them is not the rescue of any of our wild patients, our participation in conservation action, or a volunteer initiative… or maybe it was all this together because this time it was a holiday.
The holiday on the occasion of the quarter-century history of this unique and wonderful place in our country called - Wildlife Rehabilitation and Breeding Centre. We are glad that the event became an occasion to see so many volunteers, donors, representatives of institutions, organizations, friends, supporters with whom over the years, together, side by side, we built this quarter-century dream...
The holiday was not only an occasion to remember, but also to promise to continue to follow the environmental purpose of the Centre. We heard once again the testament of the first and rejoiced in the words of the youngest volunteers.
We used the podium of the event to boast of the beginning of the new 'Life for Lesser Kestrel LIFE19 NAT/BG/001017' project, funded by the EC LIFE Program, in which the Rescue Centre takes a leading role. The main activities and the project's team were presented to the guests.
The 'The Wild World' by Bogdan Boev, 'Natura 2000' by the project New Horizons and 'The Living Exhibition' exhibitions - dedicated to the International Day of the European Green Belt initiative, complemented the atmosphere of the event.
We received many gifts, wishes, hugs, but most of all we received smiles. We, in turn, welcomed everyone present, and at the end of the official part in the sky above the Centre, by the hands of the official guests of the event, flew 8 Common Kestrels.
And, the balance for these 25 years is very briefly as follows:
- Since its establishment, 20,500 wild animals have passed through the doors of the Centrе.
- On average, between 45 and 53% of all animals are released into the wild each year.
- The centrе has a key role in the return of three extinct species - the Saker Falcon, Lesser Kestrel, and the Black Vulture, as well as in supporting the population of endangered species, such as the Griffon Vulture, Egyptian Vulture, the Eastern Imperial Eagle.
- Every year more than 3,000 visitors come to the Centre's visitor corner. Over 90% of them are children and students. Here they learn how each of them can live to take care of our environment.
- Among the volunteers of the Centre, who annually are over 300, there are students from the National Profesional School of Veterinary Medicine 'Ivan Pavlov' and students from the Trakia University in Stara Zagora.
- Since its establishment until now, the Rescue Centre is the biggest separate structure and leading unit in the treatment and rehabilitation of wild animals in Bulgaria.
- In the last 10 years of its existence, the Rescue Centre has become the largest on the Balkan Peninsula. People from Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, and Turkey have come to us to learn ideas for the creation of such structures in their countries.
- The Wildlife Rescue Center is a partner of various institutions, such as the Ministry of Environment and Water, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, the Ministry of Education and Science and their regional divisions, the Trakia, Agricultural and Forestry Universities, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, the Municipality Stara Zagora, Stara Zagora District Administration, and others.
- More than 10 different species of birds breed in the Centre's aviaries - eagles, falcons, owls, vultures.
- The Rescue Centre is the only place in Bulgaria where European and globally endangered species such as Bearded vultures, Saker falcons, and Griffon vultures breed.
- For our activities to restore or support populations of various protected species, we actively cooperate with many leading European zoos, such as Schönbrunn in Vienna, Athens Zoo, Czech zoos Prague, Zlin, Bojnice, Swiss Goldau, zoos from Spain, France, England. We also work with all zoos in Bulgaria, led by the Sofia Zoo, where we redirect birds that have undergone treatment here but are with permanent disabilities.
Thank you! Love you! And we will be waiting for you again in 5 years.