Cyprus Mail

Injured baby mouflon could be released back to the wild in six months (with video)

Elpida the baby mouflon

A baby mouflon rescued last month could be placed back into her natural habitat in six months time, it was reported on Wednesday.

The game and fauna service said last week they were nursing back to health a new-born mouflon found injured last month at the Paphos forest near Pomos village.

Though they usually don’t name animals they rescue and treat back to health, the service said that due to the current situation, they have decided to give the baby mouflon the symbolic name, Elpida, which means hope.

Elipida was found on March 20 just a few days old, with a serious hip injury.

She was taken to the wild fauna treatment centre where she was treated by members of the veterinary services.

Elpida is currently being bottle-fed with sheep’s milk until she is old enough. After she is fully healed and is deemed ready, she will be reintroduced to her natural habitat, the game and fauna service said.

“It’s just like when you take care of a baby, you feed it with a bottle, with fresh milk that we receive from our livestock partners. Elpida is getting much better,” a game and fauna official Andreas Lysandrou told the Cyprus News Agency.

“A colleague had to take her home for the first few days. Her injuries were bad, she is a weak and wild but we hope that in six months, if all goes well, she will be able to fully recover and be transferred to her natural environment,” he added.

He said there were many animals and birds taken into care at the treatment centre over the years.

“I remember a flamingo that came to the centre in distress. We released it [with GPS tracking four years ago from Akrotiri. From there itwas found in Apostolos Andreas, then in Turkey, then in Syria and a week ago we learned that it went back to Turkey,” he said. Lysandrou also referred to cases of vultures and eagles that were released and located again in Yialousa in the north.

The centre has been operating since 1995. It was originally built during British rule to operate as a pigeon farm.  It employs two people.

It is estimated that around 100-110 birds and animals, injured and orphaned, are treated there each year.

As for Elpida, Cyprus currently has a population of 3,000-3,500 mouflon, most of which are located in the Paphos forest or on its outskirts.




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