Special Easter treat for Hamerton Zoo

Rüppell's griffon vulture species at Hamerton Zoo

Rüppell's griffon vulture species at Hamerton Zoo - Credit: Archant

There’s been a cracking result for the rare Rüppell’s griffon vulture species, with a new chick hatched at Hamerton Zoo Park.

Rüppell's griffon vulture species at Hamerton Zoo

Rüppell's griffon vulture species at Hamerton Zoo - Credit: Archant

The Rüppell’s griffon vulture’s worldwide population is considered ‘Critically Endangered’ by the IUCN; the same category as the Sumatran Orangutan. Due to the rarity of the chick, zoo keepers hatched the egg within an incubator to reduce the risk of accidental termination of the embryo. The chick hatched on 22nd March 2019, is doing extremely well and currently being reared off show.

There are thought to be currently only 22,000 Rüppell’s griffon vultures left in the world. Considered to be the highest flying bird in the world, one of the birds was recorded reaching the altitude of 11,300 metres above sea level; the same cruising altitude as a jumbo jet.

Staff member Christopher Swales said: “The chick is doing very well, it is over the first phase where we have to make sure that it is eating. The next phase will be when we move it out into a manufactured nest, where it will start to find its feet and wings by exercising.”

Intentional and non-intentional poisoning is thought to be one main of the reasons for the rapid decrease in wild populations of vultures across Africa.


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With farmers aiming to protect their herds against wild animal attacks, they add poison into livestock carcasses which attract lions or hyenas. This not only affects lion and hyena populations, it also kills vultures and other birds as they feed on poisoned carcasses.

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