Aug. 30, 2012
Vultures are often overlooked, despised, and under-appreciated in spite of the vital role they play in nature. Even worse, many vultures are endangered due to habitat loss and persecution.
In honor of International Vulture Awareness Day on Sept. 1, here are some amazing facts about the world's 23 species of vultures:
*Vultures are scavengers, feeding on dead and decaying animal matter.
*Powerful stomach acids permit vultures to digest carcasses infected with botulism, cholera and anthrax bacteria that would kill other scavengers.
*Vultures have few or no feathers on their heads, which maintains cleanliness as they feed. The bald head may also help regulate body temperature.
*Some vultures can locate a carcass by smelling it up to a mile away.
The Zoo exhibits two species of vultures:
*Ruppell's griffon vultures are native to central Africa and are endangered throughout their range. These especially handsome vultures are known to be the world's highest flying bird, confirmed by a jet plane at an altitude of 36,100 feet above sea level. Four Ruppell's griffon vultures, named Igor, Wednesday, Morticia, and Gomez, live on the African Journey savannah.
*Meet Vincent the turkey vulture across from the ring-tailed lemurs in the Central Zoo. Turkey vultures are native to the Americas and can often be seen gliding on thermal currents high above the farms and cities of northeast Indiana.
Vincent was hit by a car while feeding on a road, and his injuries would not allow him to survive on his own. Instead, Vincent came to live at the zoo, where he is well cared for by our staff.
Register now for Fall Zoo School
Unearth exciting finds with our new Fall Zoo School programs! These one-session classes are designed to immerse your child in kid-friendly topics and hands-on activities for ages 6-12. Classes include:
The What's Cooking? class is full.
Register now, classes are filling quickly! Programs meet on Saturdays in September.
Read Fall Zoo School program details at http://kidszoo.org/programs-and-events/zoo-school/.
Register online for Fall Zoo School at https://ssl.4agoodcause.com/ft-wayne-childrens-zoo/class1.aspx?id=1.
Storytime begins Tuesday
When the big kids go back to school, enjoy time with your favorite little one at our free Storytime program. You'll hear a story, learn a silly song or fingerplay, and meet a friendly zoo animal.
Programs meet at 10:30 a.m. every Tuesday and Wednesday in September on the Australian Adventure Plaza. Storytime is free with zoo admission. No registration is required.