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Desperate Rescue of Trapped Birds on Frozen Lake Kastoria

A man saves a bird in the frozen lake of Kastoria. Photo by AMNA

Volunteers from the Kastoria Environmental Protection Society have been trying desperately over the last several days to rescue birds trapped in the ice of Kastoria’s frozen lake.
Due to the extremely low temperatures experienced during the last week, Kastoria Lake froze over completely, trapping many beautiful birds, including swans, which live in the stunning natural environment of the lake.
“We have already saved seventeen large birds such as swans, pelicans and herons which remained in the water during the night”, said Nikos Panagiotopoulos, a member of the society.
However, as he explained in an interview with the state-run AMNA news agency, “when it freezes, the birds’ feet become stuck on the ice.”
As the temperatures have plummeted and remained low for more than a week now, the large lake froze completely solid. This creates a stunningly lovely picture, but it is a dangerous situation for the many species which either live on or pass by the lake near Macedonia’s beautiful city of Kastoria.
As experts explained, waterfowl are currently facing life-threatening problems on the lake, where they normally overwinter, as their wet feet stick very easily on the ice. They then face not only the risk of dying from hunger, but they also can be prey for carnivores which are searching for food.
“We rescued coots, moorhens and ducks which are malnourished or worn out, and we keep them for a couple of days at the center,” Panagiotopoulos added. The heroic efforts of organizations such as the Kastoria EPS show how people can help when species are in desperate need due to the extreme weather.
But their efforts are not always easy. As Panagiotopoulos notes, they are forced to use inflatable boats to reach the birds, because if the ice breaks, rescuers would fall into the frozen waters of the lake.
Kastoria Lake, or as it is officially named, Lake Orestiada, lies near the picturesque Macedonian city of Kastoria in northwestern Greece. Lying at an altitude of 630 meters (2,100 ft), the lake covers an area of 28 square kilometres (11 square miles).
With information from A.M.N.A.

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