Houston Zoo welcomes vulture committee for the first time

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Houston Zoo now has a vulture committee: photo by Casey Allen on Unsplash

The Houston Zoo recently hosted a committee of vultures. Each species is crucial to nature’s ecosystem and saving each is our moral responsibility. The Houston Zoo is once again leading this effort. This new committee (a group of vultures is called a committee), consists of two caped vultures, three hooded and one Ruppell’s griffon vulture. This is the first time that the zoo will house these species. These Old World vultures are the same as eagles and hawks but have a few unique characteristics.

Distinctive features of the Houston Zoo vulture committee

Vultures

Image courtesy of the Houston Zoo

Cape vultures

Their wingspan can reach up to 8.5 feet, and they are among the largest Old World vultures. Additionally, they can consume ten percent of their body weight in a single feed. Chiku and Nazgul are the Cape vultures who came to the zoo. Chiku is the only female member of the committee. She is one year old and comes from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park. Although friendly, she has a strong personality which makes her the head of the committee. On the other hand, Nazgul is a three year old boy. He’s from Albuquerque Organic Park.

Ruppell’s Griffon Vultures

These vultures have a wingspan of up to eight feet and are the tallest flying birds in the world. Bruce is seven years old and the oldest member of the committee. He’s from the Dallas Zoo.

Hooded vultures

They are smaller Old World vultures. In this species, males tend to be smaller than females. The zoo has three of these vultures. They include Buzzy, Flaps, and Dizzy. Buzz is one year old and comes from St. Augustine Alligator Farm. Flaps is six years old and comes from the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. On the other hand, Dizzy is three years old and he is also from the St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

You can see the Vulture Committee at the Houston Zoo in the former jaguar habitat alongside the cougars.

About the Houston Zoo

The Houston Zoo is a 55-acre zoological park that welcomes millions of visitors each year and is home to more than 6,000 animals and 900 species. It is the second most visited zoo in the United States. The zoo’s mission statement is “The Houston Zoo connects communities with animals, inspiring action to save wildlife.” For more information, click here.

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