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Jaffar - The Vulture Who Loves To Walk
by KindMeal.my, 18 February 2015
"He's quite a nice vulture..."

If you happen to be at ZSL London Zoo in the near future, and you think you see vultures strolling untethered on the grounds with human minders nearby, you're not going crazy. It's all part of the plan.

The zoo has been taking black vultures Guido and Jaffar on daily walks together. Guido is 9 years old, and a pro at the zoo, while 10-year-old Jaffar is a newbie. The pair will work together in a spring exhibit called "Deadly Birds," and zookeepers have determined the walks are a great way for the pair to bond in friendship.

"The walks are really beneficial for these incredibly intelligent birds," handler Grant Kother explained on the zoo's website. "Not only are they forming a great bond with each other, but Jaffar loves getting attention from his keepers and is really enjoying his new training here at ZSL London Zoo."

The duo is kept from flying away on their own only by the promise of meat snacks. Even then, though, instincts sometimes kick in and the birds will take off for a quick eye-spy of the grounds from above.

Zookeepers by now have gotten used to being stared at. "We’ve had a few strange looks from visitors when we’re out on the walks with the vultures. With their comical hopping gait and huge 1.9 meter [4.9 feet] wing span, they’re hard to miss," said Kother.

The "Deadly Birds" demonstration in which the two birds will be featured is geared toward explaining to zoo visitors why vultures need protection. The birds are in decline worldwide, Kother noted, but they play an important role in nature. Eating dead animals almost entirely, vultures – and their iron stomachs – can help keep disease from spreading.

Every creature, no matter how repulsive we might find it initially, plays an important role in our ecosystem. And don't you feel a bit more fond of Jaffar after watching this video? Vultures do a great job of cleaning up carrion, but we can do our part for the planet by slaughtering fewer animals. If you'd like to eat a more vegetable-based diet, KindMeal.my has a wide assortment of meals to help you out – http://KindMeal.my

Source: http://goo.gl/Gy4LDz « Back To Articles