A young Vulture raised by a pair of male vultures has been released back into the wild.
The chick was hatched at Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo – a small zoo in the center of the Dutch capital. Keepers found an abandoned egg at the bottom of an aviary last spring.
They were going to be place it in an incubator to hatch. However, they noticed that two male griffon vultures, who have been in a relationship for several years, had begun to build a nest for themselves.
Keepers placed the egg in the nest. The birds immediately began to take turns sitting on the egg. When it hatched, they cared for the offsprings as their own. It was the first successful vulture chick to be hatched at the zoo in five years.
Last June, not long after the young bird hatched, the birds were praised for the job they were doing, with an Artis spokesperson saying, they were ‘taking good care of the chick.
‘This is not unusual in nature. There are often homosexual couples, especially among birds.’
Last week, the zoo released two young vultures back into the wild in Sardinia. The bird raised by the same-sex couple was one of them. A conservation program is in progress to boost the vulture population on the Italian island. There are currently a dozen griffon vultures based there.
Zoo director Rembrandt Sutorius described the release as a ‘very special moment.
‘We could see the vultures floating above the area – a truly magnificent sight.’
Watch a video (mainly in Dutch) about the young vulture’s release below.
The released birds have been fitted with satellite trackers so that their progress can be monitored.