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Poisoned Griffon vulture in the Sierra de Grazalema

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Offline Clive

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« on: October 29, 2007, 17:28 PM »
We got a call from Eileen (who posts on here a bit) last Saturday to say she had found a sick and dying griffon vulture. We went out to get it to find that it was indeed still alive but in pretty poor shape. It couldn't walk and kept falling  over as if drunk.

It is a young bird from this year recently fledged and wasn't badly starved but obviously it wouldn't have lasted the night on the ground on it's own so we brought it home and put it in our bathroom. (where else do you put a vulture?)...

On picking it up, what I reckon to be about 10 million lice crawled up my arms and into my armpits... Over my hair and up my trousers... A strange sensation... (Sue will post a photo of one of the lice in the insect board)... If anyone has has had experience of vulture vomit you know what I mean when i say YUK!... If not just think that the meat was fairly stinky before it went in, imagine what it's like when it gets sicked up in defence... We left the car doors open over night but even today (Monday) it smells a bit and there are still a few lice crawling around looking for a feather to hide under and munch on....

Well, because of coincidences and Sue's discovery of the rare mantis we now have a contact with Iñigo (joined the forum recently) who is the curator at Jerez de la Frontera zoological park. So we mailed him and he arranged for us to take the vulture to the vet at the Zoo... Before, the zoo used to have a recuperation centre but now the medio ambiente have centralised the system and have a centre down on the Cadiz coast. People still take sick creatures to the Zoo though and the vet assured us that the vulture will stay at the Zoo until it is strong enough to be moved to the official recovery centre... Of course on the Sunday they had a special open day at the zoo and the place was heaving with parents and small noisy children.. The vet did his best to help us but he was a really busy man that day and had a lot on his plate....Still he spent more time with us than he should have and almost missed giving a lecture to the eager kids at the otter pool......

The bird survived the night in it's isolation pen and it would seem it had been poisoned.. Poisoned meat is still laid down here to control foxes even though it is illegal... It has been dosed with activated carbon and the prognosis is good.

Iñigo has promised to keep us informed and hopefully when the bird is back up to weight and is fit we will be there to help release it back into the Garganta Verde breeding colony from where it came...

Thank you Iñigo for your help :) The work for endangered species that you are doing at the zoo is incredible.. ! :clapping:

Thanks Miguel (the vet) for taking the time out of your really busy day to help us and the vulture... :)

And of course, thank you to Eileen who found the vulture and called us up quickly to come and help ! :)

 :sign:

Clive and Sue....
« Last Edit: October 29, 2007, 17:54 PM by Wildside »
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« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2007, 17:43 PM »
What a sad tale, but hopefully with a happy ending. Keep us posted Clive (must remember not to shake your lice infested hand next time we meet). I hope you will report the event to local Guardia Forestal?

Peter
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2007, 17:48 PM »
Hi Peter... That is a job for you and the Ronda SEO......

I figure that between you and your members you must know who to report it to... I don't think this bird has flown far from the colony yet so the poisoned meat must be somewhere in the vicinity....

Clive

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Offline nick

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« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2007, 18:47 PM »
Interesting report Clive. Let's hope your great work has a happy ending...though of course this one survived because somebody happened to come across it. Who knows how many are really poisoned. I've heard wildly varying figures, but they must in the several thousands.

Any chance of a photo from the kitchen?
Nick
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2007, 19:12 PM »
Hi Nick,

we do not have any pictures i'm afraid. He was very sick and not at all up to posing, just wrapped up in a blanket with his eyes shut and head hanging.
We kept him in the bathroom to avoid major fly attack and also for warmth and dark.

Let's all hope that we get the chance for some lovely photos on release!

Regards, Sue
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« Reply #5 on: October 29, 2007, 20:37 PM »
Hi Peter... That is a job for you and the Ronda SEO......

I figure that between you and your members you must know who to report it to... I don't think this bird has flown far from the colony yet so the poisoned meat must be somewhere in the vicinity....

Clive

Welcome back from Morocco!!!!! (expect a trip report please when you have a minute to spare... Have to be in the everything else board though)

Hi Clive,

I hope to see a friend sometime this week who works for the local protection agency, so see what I can do. Okay, I have posted the Moroccan Trip Report on the post suggest i.e. everything else board.

Peter
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 14:55 PM »
Well done everyone. But where did Eileen find him? Had he landed on her roof?? Has anyone alerted Seprona so they know about the poison???
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Offline Clive

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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 15:50 PM »
It's a young bird from the Garganta Verde colony close to where Eileen lives. She was walking in the area when she found the bird. This colony is huge and has upwards of 300 pairs. Maybe a thousand birds (including chicks)during the breeding peak...

Peter has some contacts who I hope will help but as you know Lisa, it never pays to go wading in asking people in the local bar if they know who's putting the poison down...( I doubt if I would get out alive .)

My take on this is that Seprona don't have a lot of power....

PS garganta Verde griffon colony is one of the walks we will be doing if we have a forum gathering down this way....
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Offline lisa

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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 17:46 PM »
Thanks Clive. I saw 50+ Griffons circling over Potes this morning  8)

So, vultures in Andalucia or Lynx in Cuenca  :technodevil:
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Offline Sue

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« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2007, 17:28 PM »
Hi everyone,

We have just had an update from Iñigo on the sick Griffon vulture found by Eileen October  07

"They said that the griffon was in very good condition and they put on it a metallic ring with the inscription  1107810 and a yellow plastic tag marked 8HL.  The vulture was released on 29/11/07 with a group of birds in the Picacho´s "muladar" near Alcalá de los Gazules."
(A group release as there were more than 50 rescue cases over the last months)

So eyes to the skies anyone in the Cadiz /western Malaga area this spring for lucky 8HL.

Sue
« Last Edit: December 31, 2007, 17:34 PM by Sue »
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Offline John C

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« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2007, 17:41 PM »
I know the area they were released, but what's a 'muladar"?

John

Offline Sue

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« Reply #11 on: December 31, 2007, 18:06 PM »
Hi John C,

the birds were released at a vulture feeding station "muladar" - which seems to be on your doorstep!


Muladar translates as a "Dump" for carcasses
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