The story of a female White-backed Vulture named Hope is based on exactly that….. Hope.
On Saturday, the 25th of March, VulPro CEO Kerri Wolter, received a phone call from land owners based in SchweizerReneke, North West Province. The land owners had discovered an African White-backed Vulture on the ground in very poor condition. VulPro requested a video of the vulture in question to determine its condition. We were met with the heart breaking footage of a beautiful vulture in an almost comatose state.
VulPro is based Hartebespoort dam in the North West Province, so this rescue mission entailed a 10 hour round trip to collect this vulture who urgently needed critical care. Nevertheless, VulPro is well known for its motto: “We drive for birds.”
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.
After a gruelling 5 hour drive through the night, Kerri Wolter finally arrived in SchweizerReneke. The warmest welcoming committee awaited her on arrival. These amazingly caring land owners who had contacted VulPro initially, had selflessly provided care for this vulture and kept a close eye on her health for hours on end. This act in itself inspired hope. Witnessing the change in land owners perceptions towards vultures was so encouraging. Instead of leaving these birds to the mercy of the elements, they had taken the time to safeguard the bird as well as contact the relevant organisation for assistance.
Upon examining the vulture initially, it was determined that she had been electrocuted and as a result, has been grounded for an extended period of time. During this time Hope had been unable to eat or drink and her condition deteriorated rapidly. Kerri administered critical care, loaded Hope in a travel crate, and set back to VulPro for another five hours.
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.