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The San Diego Zoo and the San Diego Zoo Safari Park are outdoor destinations and remain open. We continue to monitor the ongoing changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and are following the recommendations provided by our state and local health authorities.

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Panorama of a Safari Park field exhibit with giraffes, water buffalo, and rhinos

Ruppell’s Vulture

baby bear

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As we face the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, our team of dedicated specialists continue to care for countless animals and plants that depend on us each and every day.

Your continued support is critical to the wildlife in our care and vital to endangered species worldwide.

 

Ruppell’s Vulture

Let’s face it—vultures have one of the worst reputations in the Animal Kingdom just by doing what comes naturally. Yet they are doing the world a favor by handling carrion cleanup duty. It’s a dirty job—and luckily, vultures are willing and able to do it!

The Ruppell’s vulture is the highest-flying bird. Reportedly, a jet flying over the Ivory Coast at an altitude of 35,433 feet (10,800 meters) hit one! The Ruppell's vulture gets on the wing about two hours after sunrise and spends its entire day aloft.

As it lacks a sense of smell, the Ruppell’s vulture uses its sharp eyes to find food. Its large crop can hold about 3.3 pounds (1.5 kilograms) of food, which may be as much as 20 percent of the bird’s weight.

You can admire and thank these winged wonders during an Africa Tram tour.

Free! Living Legends - San Diego Zoo 100. Help save wildlife in our newest puzzle game.