Four critically endangered vultures have returned to African skies in Hartbeespoort after being in captivity at the Detroit Zoo in America.
The one Lappet-faced Vulture and four Hooded Vultures’ new home will be the VulPro Vulture Centre near Hartbeespoort where they will be integrated into the captive breeding population.
“Detroit Zoo, based in Michigan, USA, has long championed vulture conservation and education through maintaining African Vultures in their collection. After several years of planning, permitting, and preparations, the five birds have finally joined the captive birds at VulPro. They will have the opportunity to pair and breed and their offspring will be released into the wild. The four Hooded Vultures are the first of the species to be housed at VulPro and will form the founding breeding population,” says Kerri Wolter, founder of VulPro. These birds have endured ground transport, a trans-Altantic flight, and 60 plus days of quarantine before arriving at VulPro this week.
“VulPro’s partnership with the Detroit Zoo is the first of its kind and represents a monumental step in wildlife conservation. Noteably, this is the first movement of critically endangered African Vultures from the USA back to their native continent. This is only possible because of the existence of VulPro’s specialised facility, and is a testament to the conservation ethics of Detroit Zoo and the quality care their staff members provided to the birds. These birds have returned home and now have the opportunity to significantly contribute to their species’ survival. Big thank you to the Lori Park Zoo for looking after the birds so well whilst under their quarantine facility.”
For more information about vulture conservation, visit vulpro.com or their Facebook page VulPro.