Cape Vulture Rescued in Hartbeespoort Dam Released Back into the Wild!
Photo Cred: NSRI

Vultures are on the endangered list and form an important ecological component of our natural environment, so to hear that two were rescued and have been released back into the wild is really good news!


Johannesburg, South Africa (15 April 2021) – Two Cape Vultures were rescued from the Hartbeespoort Dam in December 2020, and both magnificent birds have made a full recovery and been released back into the wild!

Cape Vultures were put on the Endangered list in 2015, and numbers have continued to decline every year, but thanks to a kind group of volunteers, two young birds (barely 4 months old) who were found stuck in the Hartbeespoort Dam were rescued and have been released back into the wild.

The NSRI Hartbeespoort Dam duty crew and volunteers from Vulpro – (a local vulture protection conservation organisation – worked together to save the birds trapped in the dense Hyacinth on Hartbeespoort Dam. In both cases, boats were used to get to the vultures and then volunteers swam to the birds to help untangle them before getting them back to land.

Cape Vulture Rescued in Hartbeespoort Dam Released Back into the Wild!
Photo Cred: NSRI

Vulpro took the young birds back to their rehabilitation centre to be cared for and after many weeks of rehabilitation, have set them free, back into the wild… and far away from the Hyacinth.

“VulPro aims to be the leading vulture conservation programme for advancing knowledge, awareness and innovation in the conservation of African vultures.”

The team at VulPro explain that Vultures form an important ecological component of our natural environment, cleaning up dead carcasses and decreasing the spread of some diseases.

“The relationship between vultures and people is also a venerable one – vultures played roles in some early societies, including the Egyptian and the Hindu societies; vultures continue to be used as symbols or metaphors in modern societies; and vulture body parts are used in muthi/traditional medicines.

Today, vultures face an unprecedented onslaught from human activities. They have to cope with electrocutions and collisions with electrical structures, poisonings, land-use changes, a decrease in food availability and exposure to toxicity through veterinary drugs, to list just a few of some of the challenges facing vultures today.

Vultures, positioned at the top of the food chain, are an indicator of the health of the environment below them – and dependent for their survival in a healthy environment. As such, the work of the Vulture Conservation Programme (“VulPro”) work is intended and expected to impact on many other aspects of the environment – beyond vultures.”

VulPro approaches vulture conservation in an integrated, multidisciplinary fashion, with the benefits from the programme accruing to both vultures and society at large. VulPro combines education and good science with networking, capacity building and knowledge generation.

For more information about this incredible organisation, click here.

Cape Vultures Rescued in Hartbeespoort Dam Released Back into the Wild!
Photo Cred: VulPro

Sources: NSRI | VulPro 
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Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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