The well-known Egyptian Vulture Panteley found a beloved one this breeding season. He was observed in the company of a female in the breeding territory he occupied last year. The young pair was observed by the BSPB team in display and has started building a nest. It is less likely that they will manage to breed successfully this year, but we will continue monitoring them and hopefully share more good news soon.

Last year, Panteley occupied a breeding territory just 5 km from the release site. With passion and courage, he managed to “steal” some land and airspace from two neighbouring pairs. However, he could not find a partner, but this year, he returned early from the wintering grounds and is now accompanied by a beautiful female. Panteley becomes the fourth captive-bred Egyptian Vulture released as part of the restocking program in Bulgaria which forms a pair in the wild nature.

Panteley’s story started in 2018 when he arrived from Jerez Zoo in Spain to become part of the restocking program for the species implemented by BSPB in partnership with the Wildlife Rеhabilitation and Breeding Center – Green Balkans and Prague Zoo. After two months of adaptation in an adaptation aviary in the Eastern Rhodopes, Panteley was among the first Egyptian Vultures released through the delayed release method alongside Boyana, Polya and Akaga. Unfortunately, today, Panteley is the only survivor of the first graduates of the so-called “Egyptian Vulture Academy”.

After the release, Panteley travelled thousands of kilometres and visited 16 countries in the Balkans, the Middle East and Africa but was always returning back to the release site in Bulgaria. Along the way, he met many good people who helped him when he was in need or had the chance to observe him in the wild. We are sure that all of them will be happy to know that Panteley is now part of a pair!

The captive-bred Egyptian Vultures released in Bulgaria are donated by the Egyptian Vulture EEP within EAZA, which is coordinated by Antonin Vaidl from Prague Zoo.

The Restocking programme in carried out under the “From the Iron Curtain to the Green Belt” Project funded by the Endangered Landscapes & Seascapes Programme (ELSP), managed by the Cambridge Conservation Initiative – a collaboration between the Chancellor Masters and Scholars of the University of Cambridge of The Old Schools and leading internationally-focused biodiversity conservation organisations. The University and the ELSP are supported by Arcadia – a charitable fund of Peter Baldwin and Lisbet Rausing.