In the last African Rift Valley post, we met our African black millipedes and learned about their important job as a scavenger. Have you seen any other scavengers in African Rift Valley? Maybe you have been to our Wings of Africa bird show and learned our Cape vultures are scavengers, too.
Vultures have a very important job in the ecosystem. They keep our planet clean, and help prevent disease from spreading to humans and animals. They are especially effective scavengers because their strong gastric juices kill harmful bacteria in their food. Vultures are also immune to many diseases, such as cholera, rabies, and anthrax.
Sadly, vultures are being poisoned in Asia and
Africa at an alarming rate. The poison is used by farmers to protect their livestock from jackals
& lions. As obligate scavengers,
vultures eat the poisoned carcasses and die. Vulture deaths are
having a direct impact on humans and livestock, as disease is spreading. We
need vultures to prevent this!
You can help vultures when you visit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo by voting for vulture conservation at the Quarters for Conservation kiosk.
Next time we‘ll introduce you to a shy member of our African Rift Valley family who is a great impressionist!