I think that the people at the Vulture Conservation Foundation are doing a fantastic job!
Flamadel hatched in the French Pre-Pyrenees back in 2017. Unfortunately, he experienced health problems as a nestling and needed rescuing. Otherwise, his life in the wild would have probably been short-lived.
With a serious fracture and inability to use one leg, Flamadel received several treatments. In 2019, he underwent a challenging surgery carried out by AMUS and Bodión Veterinary Hospital to exhaust one of the few orthopaedic options for the severe condition in his leg. A lengthy recovery period followed. After 15 months of intense care, with multiple laser and physiotherapy sessions, the rehabilitation efforts proved successful, and the Bearded Vulture could walk again!
It was time for him to return home. So, the Flamadel left Extremadura for Catalonia to arrive at the VCF managed Bearded Vulture Breeding Unit situated within Generalitat de Catalunya’s recovery centre of Vallcalent. The VCF staff there were thrilled to observe Flamadel first-hand using both legs to support him while feeding.
Now, the big question remains whether Flamadel will be able to successfully mate and produce chicks once he reaches sexual maturity. If that’s the case, Flamadel would play an invaluable part in our pan-European reintroduction and restocking efforts, especially since his genetic profile is significant for our Bearded Vulture Captive Breeding Network that breeds the species for conservation purposes.