Welcome to the wonderful world of vultures. Kid’s Corner shares with you amazing information about our vultures, the coolest, little known facts about them, how they live, fly and the funny side of their characters.
This is a story about hope featuring a special vulture called … Hope.
On Saturday the 25th of March, Kerri Wolter (VulPro CEO) received a phone call from land owners in Schweizer-Reneke in North West Province. They had found an injured African White-backed Vulture on their land!
We immediately requested video footage of the vulture to determine its condition. Our hearts were broken when we saw the video – the beautiful vulture was badly injured and in an almost coma-like state. We needed to get to this bird as soon as possible!
Unfortunately, Schweizer-Reneke is very far from VulPro’s home near Hartbeespoort Dam (even though both are located in the same province). Luckily, we are famous for our motto, “We drive for birds.”
We set off on our rescue mission – entailing a 10-hour round trip – to collect the seriously injured Schweizer-Reneke vulture. Kerri drove through the night for 5 hours straight before finally reaching Schweizer.
Although she was tired from driving and worried about the vulture’s safety, her heart felt immediately lighter when the warmest of welcoming committee greeted her upon arrival. The caring land owners who phoned VulPro had also watched and tended the vulture for hours on end while waiting for Kerri! A lot of people just leave vultures to die or even kill them, but these wonderful land owners did the right thing: they kept the bird safe and phoned for assistance.
When Kerri finally examined the vulture, she saw that the bird had been electrocuted. As a result the vulture had been on the ground for a very long time, which means that she could not eat or drink anything. Kerri administered critical care, loaded Hope in a travel crate, and set back to VulPro for another 5-hour drive.
Hope is now safely at VulPro. Currently, she is still extremely weak and unable to stand. She is kept under constant watch and is being hand fed and given water through a tube. We hope that with the continuation of this treatment she will regain her strength and vigour. Even though the situation seemed dire… with the help of compassionate landowners, MyPlanet funds, and a very dedicated VulPro team … We have Hope.
Today, Hope has shown immense improvement. She is now able to socialise with other vultures in a larger camp. She is now capable of feeding herself and is a completely different vulture from the comatose individual we received 2 weeks ago. She truly is a miracle bird.
For this we also have to thank MySchool/ MyPlanet. The funds raised through MyPlanet cards greatly contribute to assisting with covering the costs incurred during these rescue cases.
When a young Eurasian Hobby (a type of falcon) was delivered to VulPro Vulture Rehabilitation Centre a few weeks back, it touched Amy Gear’s heart. Most of the injured birds that ten year old Amy had seen admitted to the Centre were large vultures that had been victims of powerline collisions or electrocutions but this little falcon had been shot with a pellet gun, an injury that had almost certainly been sustained at the hands of someone around her age.
Amy, along with her dad, Primedia Environmental Correspondent, Simon Gear, decided to write a letter to the kids of the area in which the bird was found, to remind them, that their actions have consequences.
The point of the letter was not to find the perpetrators, but rather to enlist the kids of the area as conservationists rather than as persecutors of birds.
The letter has been distributed among 800 households around where the bird was found and will hopefully be sent out to local schools as well.
Amy is very proud to be associated with the work that is done at VulPro, which is mostly to do with the rehabilitation, breeding and conservation of vultures, but also overlaps into the occasional rehabilitation of other birds of prey.
Dear Dr kerri
Have a nice holiday.
I will miss you very much,l going to miss vultures for period but ĺ wishes to see them flying across our country as well.
I ĺove vultures because they keep our environment clean.
May Lord bless you in everythinģ that you do.
Thank you for saviñg our vultures ,they healthy and strong.
If it was n’t kerri and al of you,we would have lost our vultures and the Atmosphere would smell and dirty
Thank you kerri have a wonderful holiday