At the beginning of February 2019 for the first time in Croatia the African sacred ibis (Threskiornis aethiopicus) was recorded in the area of Samobor in Celine Samoborske. It is easily recognized, due to its size, dark head, thick and downward curved beak and black legs. Its natural habitat is in sub-Saharan Africa and Iraq and it was formerly found in Egypt, where it was considered a sacred bird. It is a very social bird that forms colonies and can live in communities that comprise 200 birds and more. In its natural habitat, its diet consists of mainly insects, crustaceans, molluscs, fish, frogs and small mammals. It is not picky about its diet and therefore easily adapts to new habitats.
It has not been known in Europe until mid-20th century and has begun to establish colonies only recently. Birds kept in captivity broke free, escaped into wilderness and started breeding independently. According to available data, it has been seen in Belgium, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain. It can present a threat for native species as it feeds on eggs of other birds (e.g. eggs of heron and tern); is competitive and displaces other species; and can even feed on small water birds. Due to all these characteristics it was added to the list of Invasive Alien Species of Union concern (the Union list).