SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Usually, vultures circling overhead are a bad sign – but on Saturday the vilified birds got some love at salt lake city’s Tracy Aviary.
They celebrated international vulture awareness day with special events, including a close-up encounter and a special bird show. The aviary has four types of new world vultures including king vultures, black vultures, turkey vultures and a 59-year-old condor named Andy.
The curator of the bird show says these scavengers could use some good P.R. because they’re underappreciated.
“vultures are probably one of the most misunderstood creatures on the planet,” Helen Dishaw, Tracy Aviary Curator said. “If you think about it most people’s familiarity with them is Halloween decorations or the bad guys in a movie or the goofy characters in a Disney cartoon and none of those things are actually true about vultures. They’re very clean birds. They’re very social. They’re very smart. They’re great parents. They mate for life. They’re wonderful to work with and be around.”
Dishaw said vultures are the unsung heroes of the world because by serving as nature’s undertakers and devouring dead animals they control diseases like cholera, botulism, and rabies. Unfortunately, vulture populations are in decline worldwide.