Villagers come to the rescue after icy wings ground hundreds of migrating birds
Wed 21 Mar 2018 18.33 GMTLast modified on Wed 21 Mar 2018 18.40 GMT
What would you do if you encountered scores of distressed storks covered in ice lying in a snow-covered field? In Bulgaria, people have been taking them home.
A cold snap in the north-east of the country has stranded hundreds of the migrating birds this week, covering their wings in ice and grounding them.
“I found five frozen storks near the village road the day before yesterday,” Safet Halil, 53, from the village of Zaritsa, near the town of Dulovo said on Wednesday. “I took them home, lit a stove to warm them and fed them fish.”
Halil, a road maintenance worker, sparked a wave of support on social media on Monday and others in the region followed his example, with more than 40 birds sheltered inside people’s homes, garages or barns.
Experts said the frozen wings had forced the birds to spend the night on the ground instead of perched on trees as usual.
“It’s the first time that we have seen so many storks in distress in Bulgaria,” said Hristina Klisurova, from the Green Balkans wildlife rehabilitation centre in Stara Zagora.