A young Griffon Vulture born in Limassol Zoo started a new phase of his life this week when he joined others of his species at a specially-created holding area in preparation to being released in the wild in a few months.
Limassol Zoo runs a breeding programme for the Griffon Vulture in conjunction with the Forestry Department.
"This year the programme was successful with the birth of a baby Griffon Vulture that was reared by its parents, named Sol," the zoo said on its official Facebook page.
"It was time for our young Griffon Vulture Sol to leave his nest. He is big enough to find food and look after himself. In the, wild young Griffon Vultures have already left their nests leaving their parents alone to reconstruct the nest for the next breeding season.
"For the same reason our youngster had to leave his nest and was given to the able hands of the Forestry Department."
Sol was moved to the holding area in Ayios Ioannis on Wednesday to be tagged. In a few months from now, the zoo noted he will be released free in to the wild but always under the watchful eyes of the department.
"At Limassol Zoo we have already started to supply the pair of Griffon Vultures with materials so that they can reconstruct their nest hoping to have the same success as last year," the zoo continued.
"In a few months from now Sol will be released in to the wild and we will be there to witness his first big flight."
Some 25 Griffon Vultures have been brought to Cyprus from Crete in the past few years as part of Greece and Cyprus' joint Gypas project to strength the local vulture population. The local population has dwindled over the last few decades with only a handful remaining before the start of the project.
They are kept in purpose-made cages in Ayios Ioannis near Paphos and Limnitis in the Limassol district until they are acclimatised to Cyprus and the authorities are confident they will not fly back to Crete when released.
"Vulture restaurants" are also being created in fenced off areas around the cages providing the vultures with a protected source of quality food once they are released.