Apr 17, 2009

Turkey Vulture Tale

Here's a charming tale from the turkey vulture front. This one comes to use from Wildlife Friends, the wildlife rehabilitation center for Best Friends. A call came in from Colorado City, Arizona, that a turkey vulture was trapped in the bear pen of the defunct local zoo. When Wildlife Friends staff showed up, they did indeed find a vulture. It was dehydrated and emaciated, with an injured eye. Todd Moore collected the bird, and had to endure its constant attempts at regurgitation (a self-defense mechanism) and the accompanying stench on the ride back to the rehab center.

It took more a battery of tests and a month of proper care for the bird to begin to recover. It turned out that it was suffering from West Nile virus, and that its injured eye had been blinded. That injury made it no longer suitable for release.

Photo by Molly Wald

But as luck would have it, there was a waiting list for turkey vultures. Turns out that there were quite few educational groups looking to get these birds on their rosters. One-Eyed Jack soon found himself a new home in the Adobe Mountain Wildlife Center.

Great job, everybody, for taking care of this bird. The world needs more people like you.

Thanks for the link, Ida.


Christie Lynn said...

I've got a great gross pic or two of some vultures from FL... Like this one and this one.

Sabina E. said...

I hate vultures, they're absolutely vile and repulsive... ever since I saw that disturbing photo of a vulture waiting for an African boy to die so the bird can eat him. Ugh.

Jessica Olin said...

Thankyouthankyouthankyou for sharing this! Turkey vultures are my all time most favoritest raptor.

Raging Wombat said...

You're welcome, LibrarianJessica. Glad I could please.

bats :[ said...

I had no idea there was/had been a zoo in Colorado City (this is the place that no one wants to claim, an outpost of polygamists. I'd be okay with if it involved a troupe of gorillas or baboons...).
...eh, enough politics. A very heartening story of rescue and adoption. Hooray for Todd and his strong stomache!

Raging Wombat said...

That's the place, bats. The very place. I had no idea there was a zoo there either, which might speak to the fact that it is defunct.

niner said...

What a lovely story and I'm glad he's healthy and found a great and comfortable future. Vultures of any kind are really wonderful creatures and they still look so prehistoric.

Thanks for sharing!

Vanessa said...

Vultures are awesome, thank you to the kind people who saved him. Horray!

DIMA - Vultures are animals, they act on instinct.
What is more vile about that photograph was that the man who took it, his name was Kevin Carter and he won a Pulitzer for it and then about a year later committed suicide, left that child there to die when he could have chosen to save him.
Carter was in a jeep, and that child was close to a camp, where he would have been given food, and Carter left him there to die after taking a photograph of him that would make Carter world famous. Some say it drove him to later kill himself.
There is nothing on this planet more vile than human apathy.
Blaming an animal for doing what nature intended it to do is unreasonable, put the blame where it belongs - on the people involved who had the power to change the outcome and chose not to.

morgan said...

I, too, have to say that he sounds like a wonderful bird and I'm so glad that there were all these good people around to help him get well!

Also--just to put it out there for those still begrudging vultures ubiquitously on account of purported wrongs perpetrated by African vultures acting in accordance with instinct: This fantastic paper
showed that Old and New world vultures aren't very closely related. So please--have some patriotism and give our American vultures a break. (And maybe forgive the African vultures for performing their gruesome but necessary task, too)

niner said...

Not that I believe everything on the internet, but here's another side to that photo story from a guy who accompanied Kevin Carter:


There are always 2 (or more) sides to every story. Whichever story one decides to believe, my repulsion would be directed at the photographer for not helping rather than a hungry vulture.

Amanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Amanda said...

There are always 2 (or more) sides to every story.Well, yes and no...
(I'm sorry, I couldn't help it.)