Cape Griffon Vulture

ZOO LOCATION: African Rift Valley

Lifespan: Up to 25 years

Wild Diet: Carrion

Zoo Diet: Bones and meat

Predators: Main threat is humans. Farmers poison carcasses to kill unwanted predators and they also believe that the vultures carry disease to their livestock.


IUCN Status: Vulnerable

Habitat/Range: Found in open mountainous country and plains in the most southern parts of Africa.

Characteristics: Largest of all African vultures. Weighs nearly 20 pounds. About 3.5 feet tall. Elongated head with long and heavy beak. Head and neck are bare except for a wooly down. Ruff of long, narrow, pointed feathers at base of neck.

Behavior: Usually feed on fresh carrion. Can be aggressive at carcasses. Bathe daily by immersing completely in pools of water.

Reproduction: Usually nest in colonies (6-100+ pairs). Nests are used year after year. Nests can be a scrape in the ground to elaborate stick structures lined with grass. Clutch size is 1 egg. Both sexes incubate for 52+ days. Young grow more rapidly than other large vultures. Fledge 80-90 days.

Conservation: The species is listed as vulnerable due to secondary poisoning and the disturbance of nesting sites.