International cooperation returned Griffon Vulture Dobrila home

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Dobrila (c) Zoran Karic

Griffon Vulture Dobrila endured many challenges, but thanks to the Birds of Prey Protection Foundation from Belgrade, the Turkish Airlines and many other stakeholders, she is back to her natural habitat!

Dobrila’s early beginnings

The story of Dobrila is long and complicated.

The vulture hatched in Uvac and was marked by the Birds of Prey Protection Foundation on 6 June 2018. While the team of experts was tagging her, she was one of the calmest vultures, and that is why they named her ‘Dobrila’, which mean good in Serbian.

Dobrila successfully left her nest and travelled to the city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey, on 12 December 2018. Burak Tatar ‘Wildlife Biologist Department’ of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, identified Dobrila thanks to her wing tag and contact the Birds of Prey Protection Foundation. They found Dobrila starved, but thankfully, she was still healthy, and after some time in recovery, she was released. However, her hurdles were not over. After her release, Dobrila was found exhausted and disoriented several times. So, the Birds of Prey Protection Foundation decided that it would be best for her to travel back home to Uvac by plane where her parent flock is. The Foundation initiated the return procedure of Dobrila and after a while, the Turkish embassy, as well as Turkish Cargo, got involved and provided transportation.

On 14 April 2019, Dobrila returned to Serbia. Many institutions supported this action and helped the Foundation to bring her back home: Turkish Cargo, ambassador Mr Tanju Bilgic, the Serbian Minister, Mr Goran Trivan, Ministry of Environmental Protection, the Institute for Nature Protection, the CITES office, the Uvac Reserve, the Institute for Biological Research Siniša Stankovic. Even the locals from Serbia did their part and gathered the money needed to purchase a satellite transmitter for Dobrila. She spent some time under surveillance and on 25 May 2019, she was set free.

How is Dobrila doing now that she is back home?

Dobrila back in Uvac (c) Zoran Karic

The Foundation is tracking her movements every day, and it seems that things are looking up for Dobrila. She quickly fitted in with her flock and is flying very well. She is visiting ‘the Restaurant for Vultures’ in the Special Nature Reserve of ‘Uvac’ and is spending a lot of time near her nest, where she hatched last year and where the Foundation marked her in 2018.

Follow her latest movements!

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