Following the extreme cold wave for Greek standards that hit the country this week, Kastoria Lake in Northern Greece froze over completely within a few hours trapping local fauna in the ice.
A group of fearless volunteers from the Kastoria Environmental Protection Society (KEPS) spent the last days tirelessly trying to rescue several birds, including a group of swans unable to escape the solid lake. The volunteers are actually risking their own lives to reach the animals in peril by using inflatable boats to slide on the surface of the frozen lake; if the ice were to crack the KEPS members could sink into the deep waters.
“We have already saved seventeen large birds such as swans, pelicans and herons which remained in the water during the night”, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, a member of KEPS told ANA-MPA.
“When it freezes, the birds’ feet become stuck on the ice. We rescued coots, moorhens and ducks which are malnourished or worn out, and we keep them for a couple of days at the center,” he added.
According to experts waterfowl are currently in danger of dying of hunger as they need to dive into the water for food, or being stuck on the ice as their wet feet touch the surface of the lake and become prey for carnivores.