Critically Endangered Vulture Chick Hatched!

We are delighted to announce that Ruppell’s griffon vultures, Morticia and Jekyll, successfully hatched a chick on 2nd March 2024.

The chick is doing very well and is continuing to grow healthy and strong every day, with the help of mum and dad. Morticia and Jekyll are experienced parents, having successfully raised 2 young in this pairing. The Animal Care Team are not yet able to determine the gender of the chick so the little one has not been named, but we will be sure to update you once this has been announced.

Ruppell’s griffon vultures come from the Sahel region of Africa, from Senegal across to Ethiopia, and live in woodland, grassland and montane regions. They live for around 40 years out in the wild and are considered to be one of the more vocal Vulture species.

Ruppell’s griffon vultures can fly at 35km/hr and travel as far as 150km from the nesting site while searching for a carcass. Their keen eyesight allows them to spot a carcass or a group of carnivores on a kill. Ruppell’s griffon vultures can stand up to 90cm tall with a wingspan of 2.6m. They can fly at altitudes of around 37,000 feet which is the highest recorded flight of any bird species! To put this into perspective, the average commercial airplane flies at around 30,000 – 40,000 feet.

Vultures play a crucial role in the eco-system with them being one of nature’s best scavengers, feeding off dead carcasses reducing the risk of disease spreading to other fauna. Unfortunately, Ruppell’s griffon vultures are currently listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species due to habitat loss, decline in food sources and hunting for trade. Therefore, this little arrival is fantastic news for the conservation of this species.

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