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One vulnerable vulture

One vulnerable vulture

One vulnerable vulture
VICTORIA FALLS WILDLIFE TRUST

BY ROGER PARRY

In the last issue of Zambezi Traveller, #16, the vulnerability of the vulture as a species was highlighted. We wrote about two injured white-backed vultures taken in by the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, one an adult with a broken wing; the second a fledgling, which was paralysed, very weak and had a severely damaged joint in the wing.

The fledgling cannot be rehabilitated as it will not be able to fly. However, in close co-operation with the Area Manager of the Zambezi National Park, this bird will become an ambassador for vultures and be part of conservation and education talks that take place at VFWT.

The adult bird, which arrived at VFWT on 27 January 2014, was successfully treated and rehabilitated. The wing straps were removed on the 19 February and an examination of the wing showed that it had healed well. There was no sign of infection and the bone had mended straight.

The bird was kept in an enclosure and allowed to exercise its wings in preparation for release. It became more active but never fully habituated to the close proximity of people. A full physical exam indicated that muscle tone had returned and body condition was perfect for release.

Prior to release, and after consultation with the Parks Area Manager, Kerri Wolter of VULPRO SA was contacted for assistance and direction. She offered to provide a tracking device which would monitor position, altitude and speed and send this data every 15 minutes, by cell phone connection, to a website where the data could be accessed daily. She also offered to assist with fitting the device and with the subsequent release.

More from this issue:
ZT17 (June 2014) - Main Menu
ZT17 (June 2014) - Full Content Listing

More from the Zambezi Traveller:
Victoria Falls News

Zambezi Traveller Directory:
Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust