Bowling for Buzzards!

This afternoon, watching from the hide at the Golden Gate vulture restaurant*, I was treated to one of the most entertaining sequences of animal interaction I have ever experienced!

A pair of black-backed jackals were protecting the last scraps of a carcass with everything they had against a group of Cape griffons.

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I couldn’t help but think of the “bowling for buzzards” scene in the animated Disney movie “The Lion King” where meerkat Timon and warthog Pumbaa save little Simba by rushing into the huddle of vultures surrounding the lion cub!

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A “Vulture Restaurant” is a feeding station where carcasses are made available for vultures in safe places to mitigate the risk of them feeding on poisoned carcasses elsewhere.

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18 thoughts on “Bowling for Buzzards!

  1. Pingback: South African Vultures | de Wets Wild

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      You will be well entertained at Golden Gate’s vulture hide AJ Vosse – there’s always some kind of activity going on, from little birds pecking away at maggots and scraps of meat to the mongooses, jackals, crows, ravens and the star attractions, the Cape and Bearded Vultures, all within easy reach of your lens. You’ll find it difficult to get a chance to enjoy your biltong ;-)!

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  2. Pingback: Golden Gate Highlands National Park, July 2013 | de Wets Wild

    1. de Wets Wild Post author

      Unfortunately Seeker the sad reality is that poaching of vultures is a thriving business, some people believing that certain parts of the bird has magical properties. To a degree also some farmers still rely on managing “problem animals” like jackal and caracal that threaten their livestock by leaving poisoned carcasses for them, and the vultures then get poisoned unintentionally when they spot the bait first.

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        1. de Wets Wild Post author

          Agreed Seeker. There’s many individuals and organisations working very hard to educate people on the fact that vultures cannot, for instance, “see” what the lotto numbers will be in advance, and working with farmers to protect their animals in more sustainable ways, like having shephard dogs protect their herds. Unfortunately changing perceptions takes time and effort, and human’s lust for money knows no bounds…

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