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BELGRADE: July 17, 2019. An endangered Griffon vulture, which began its migration from Serbia to the Middle East but had to make an unscheduled landing in Sanliurfa in Southeast Turkey, has been rescued by Turkish Cargo and flown back to Belgrade.

Griffon Vulture 1The 18-month Griffon tagged 'Dobrila' had begun its flight from Serbia’s remote Uvac Canyon nature reserve only to land some 2,000 kms. later in Sanliurfa, where it was taken to the local wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre by farmers.

Released to continue flying after a few months of rest and recuperation, Dobrila had other ideas and refused to take off. So officials from Turkey’s ministry of Agriculture and Forestry contacted their Serbian counterparts for advice and they suggested the best place to send the bird was Belgrade’s Biological Research Institute.

Turkish Cargo came to the rescue and carried Dobrila from Sanliurfa via Istanbul to Belgrade where it was handed over to Goran Trivan, Serbia’s minister of Environmental Protection together with Tanju Bilgic, Turkey’s ambassador to the country.

Dobrila’s home is in a 1,000-metre gorge carved out of limestone hills by the river Tresnjica in western Serbia. The steep cliffs and surrounding forests are home to Golden eagles and Peregrine falcons - and Europe’s most northerly colony of Griffon vultures.

With a wingspan of some 2.8 metres, the Griffon cruises at 2,000 metres and when not searching for food, can reach a height of 5,000 metres.

’’Today is a very special day for Dobrila, because after months of rehabilitation, it will fly [again] for the first time. We thank Turkish Cargo for their support,’’ declared biologist Irena Hrıbsek from Serbia’s Foundation for the Protection of Birds of Prey.

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