Houston, TX

Houston Zoo Housing a Committee of Endangered Old World Vultures

Jason Martinez

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Houston, TX - 6 endangered vultures are joining Houston Zoo in early July. The group of vultures includes: one Ruppell’s griffon vulture, two cape vultures, and three hooded vultures.

All of them are Old World vultures, like hawks and eagles. Despite having similar traits, this committee of vultures are unique in their own way. Here are their distinct traits:

1. Ruppell’s Griffon Vultures

Having a huge figure and eight-foot wingspan, Rüppell’s griffon vultures are known as the highest-flying birds in the world.

  • Bruce: male, 7 year-old (oldest from the committee), from the Dallas Zoo,

2. Cape Vultures

One of the largest Old World vultures, the wingspan of cape vultures is up to 8.5 feet. For every meal they have, they can eat around 10% of their weight.

  • Chiku: female, one year old, from St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park
  • Nazgul: male, 3 year-old, from the Albuquerque Biological Park.

3. Hooded Vultures

With the females tend to be bigger than the males, hooded vultures are on the smaller side compared to other Old vultures.

  • Buzzy: male, 1 year-old, from St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.
  • Flaps: male, 6 year-old, from San Diego Zoo Safari Park.
  • Dizzy: male, 3 year-old, from St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park.

Houston Zoo visitors can find the vultures committee next to the cougars in the jaguar's old habitat. By coming to the Zoo, visitors are getting involved in the efforts of saving wildlife and ensuring endangered animals won't become extinct. Parts of the Zoo admission and membership fees are used to help protect the wildlife.

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