Vulture Breeding Update
With breeding season in full swing, there is much excitement at our VulPro facilities. With many “oooo’s” and “awwww’s” focused on our breeding enclosures, we are very happy to report we have had 6 little new editions so far. They are very shy and have not come out of their shells yet. We are expecting our little egg family to grow quite a bit more still.
As can be seen on this X-Ray, there is always reason to be sympathetic with moms-to-be, both human and vulture. It looks like the egg is bigger than what one would think, after a stressful copulation, over and over again, she would have to deliver an egg equivalent to the size of a mango…ouch!
Depending on the species, vultures generally take about 5 years before reaching sexual maturity., One great fact is that they choose their partners for life. Both parents are involved in building the nest, brooding the egg and rearing the chick. They are in fact wonderful parents and will protect their nests, eggs and chicks relentlessly. Vulture’s incubation period is between 53 – 55 days before the egg hatches and the fledglings will take flight after around 6 to 7 months.
We are now at the start of yet another season of new baby vulture arrivals! Cuteness overload! We are very fortunate to hand raise these babies from when they hatch in June/July for a short period of only two weeks with tender love and care, before they are reunited with their eager parents in our own Cape vulture artificial cliff colon.. The only reason we incubate and hand rear for the first 2 weeks is to enhance the survival rate of the offspring.
Since 2011, we have had 63 eggs laid at VulPro with 11 successful captive bread chicks released. At VulPro, it is not only our passion, but also our duty as human beings to help save this species from extinction. These babies, (still only eggs now as we speak) are on their way to hatch and later on be released into a world abound with threats of all shapes and sizes, fulfilling the future vulture generations and contributing to the survival of these endangered or critically endangered species. We must remain dedicated to our cause and passion, and continue supplementing wild populations so the can fulfill their roll as “cleaners” of our planet. A sky empty of vultures, is a sky no longer filled with beauty.