BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Months after it flew as far away as Turkey's border with Syria, a griffon vulture from Serbia has come home.
The one-year-old female bird named Dobrila from the central Serbian nature reserve of Uvac was flown home Friday in a joint effort by Serbia and Turkey.
It is not clear why Dobrila wandered so far away but officials say she was apparently unable to come back home.
There are about 500 griffon vultures in the Uvac reserve. The birds are considered a protected species in Serbia.
"This is a very important moment for us," said Serbian Environment Minister Goran Trivan. "The most important thing is that she is well."
Turkey's ambassador in Serbia Tanju Bilgic explained that Turkish soldiers first found Dobrila in late-2018 near the Syrian border when it was treated by veterinarians and set free.
But, he said, shepherds soon after found the bird suffering from cold, some 120 kilometers (72 miles) away, when it became clear it was unable to fly back.
"I am very happy to witness that our operation has been very successful," he said.