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International vulture awareness day celebrated at the Belize Zoo

Posted: Sunday, September 3, 2023. 1:24 pm CST.

Photo credit: The Belize Zoo

By Breaking Belize News Staff: Yesterday, in honor of International Vulture Awareness Day, wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists across the globe celebrated these unsung heroes of our environment.

Vultures, often misunderstood and underappreciated, play a vital role in maintaining a balanced ecosystem. In the Western Hemisphere, all vultures fall under the Family Cathartidae. This term is derived from the Greek word for “purifiers,” a fitting description of these birds’ critical job.

These magnificent raptors are master scavengers. By feasting on deceased animals, vultures limit the proliferation of disease, bacteria, and viruses, effectively acting as natural purifiers. These carcasses, if left untouched, could be a breeding ground for numerous pathogens harmful to both the environment and public health.

A visit to The Belize Zoo provides an intimate encounter with these remarkable birds. At the entrance, visitors are welcomed by the Royal Family of King Vultures. Among them is the young and stunning Milagro, who, at just 3 years old, is yet to acquire her full adult plumage, a transition eagerly awaited by regular zoo-goers. Milagro’s parents, Rex and Sally, proudly display their mature plumage, offering a sneak peek of what’s to come for their young offspring.

As you step out today, whether you catch a glimpse of a vulture at the Belize Zoo or spot a wild one soaring overhead, take a moment to appreciate their indispensable role in our ecosystem. As guardians of environmental and public health, they surely deserve our gratitude and respect.

 

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