Love is in the air at Vulture Valley!

On the 22nd January Colchester Zoo welcomed a female African White Backed Vulture Betty, since her arrival she has been spending some time getting to know male vultures Bert and Grump – there may be a recoupling just in time for Valentine’s Day!

African white backed vultures are known to pair for life so this could be the perfect Valentine’s Day for Betty as she decides which of our two males might be the one for her – will it be Grump or Bert?

Sadly this species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. We hope that this new pairing may become a breeding pair in the future and help to increase the species numbers in captivity.

The African white-backed vulture is light tawny brown colour with a white back. It is a medium sized vulture, weighing approximately 5.5kg with a wingspan between 2 and 2.4metres!

Despite not always being the most popular of species Vultures are very useful birds for the eco-system as they are known for being scavengers, performing the vital function of removing (recycling) carcasses.

Watch this space as Betty settles in!

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