NICOSIA, Nov. 21 (Xinhua) -- A Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus), which had been saved by environmental volunteers after being found stranded on a craggy beach in Cyprus, has been released back to nature, BirdLife Cyprus said in a statement published on Thursday.
"The vulture was released almost a week ago from the facilities (of BirdLife) in Limassol and it has been tracked every two hours," said BirdLife project coordinator Melpo Apostolidou.
She said that the most recent data transmitted from a radio attached to the bird showed that it survived and had found its old colony at Episkopi Bay in the southwestern part of Cyprus.
Griffon vultures have become an endangered species as land development encroached on their habitats. Only about 20 birds exist in Cyprus, compared to thousands 30 to 40 years ago. The use of poison baits to fight foxes and stray dogs has also dealt a blow to this bird population.
Griffon vultures feed exclusively on the carcasses of dead animals.
The young Griffon vulture was found in distress and unable to fly on a rock at Episkopi Bay by a BirdLife volunteer on Sept. 8.
With the help of a boat owner the volunteer managed to reach the bird on the rock and take it to a wildlife hospital near Nicosia.
The injured bird was cleaned of salt on its wings, treated for minor wounds and patiently fed for almost three months.
A ring and a radio transmitter to monitor its movements were placed on the bird before it was again transferred to close to where it was found.
After several days of practice flying, the Griffon vulture was released and flew away to join its colony.