Noel-Leya is flying again amongst the snowy peaks of the Alps! Last Friday, a team from our Swiss partners, Stiftung Pro Bartgeier, re-released back to the wild this young bearded vulture. On a glorious sunny day, after a strenuous trek up a snowfield, Noel-Leya was taken out of his transport box and put on the snow. He stood there for a moment and in a gracious movement flew away into the mountain peaks – see video. He soon disappeared into a side valley, but reappeared a short time later, showing us that he had not forgotten how to fly. Circling higher and higher, he was briefly accompanied by a Red Kite
Noel -Leya had originally been released in 2014 in Switzerland, as a 3 month old chick, born into the VCF-coordinated captive breeding network, as part of the wider alpine reintroduction project. Later, in November 2014 his GPS transmitter indicated he was stationary. A team was dispatched, and found him sitting on the snow – he was then recaptured (read the full story about Noel-Leya here: English – German – French – Italien).
He was soon transferred to the Nature and Animal Park in Goldau where expert hands nursed him back to full health. Now the spring conditions are ideal for a second start.
Noel-Leya, fitted with a new GPS transmitter, was released near Surselva (Grison), where he was residing last autumn, so in familiar territory. The party had to go up the snowy slopes, first with a chair lift, and then walking. Once a suitable place, with a good overview of the area, was found, Noel-Leya was re-released. So far the GPS data shows that Noel-Leya is well on the move again and undertakes extended flights (interactive map).