Posted on 04th October 2011 by Media Relations
Rainy days are a little different for us at the Bird Show, because
it means our shows might be cancelled.
It’s not so much we don’t like being out in the rain, but more
that our birds can become so drenched with water, displaying their amazing
aerial feats can be all that much harder. On this particular day we got rained
out, so for Leslie, our Andean Condor got to do something else.
Being an Andean Condor, Leslie is very inquisitive and loves
to explore. This type of vulture is not adapted for killing its own prey, but
rather relies on what’s left over when another animal makes its kill. They will
soar for hours on end, covering uncountable kilometres, searching for that
carcass. When they find it, they will descend to the ground and start to devour
it, starting with the softer, fleshy parts. Various species of vultures will
eat different parts of a decaying animal, for example a Lammergeier (otherwise
known as the Bearded Vulture) will make good use of the bones. Together they
can recycle the mess and it leaves us with healthy, disease-free environments.
Whilst I’m not about to jump in and eat an animal carcass, this recycling ethos
of the vulture is a good habit to take on.
Since we didn’t have any decaying carcasses lying around, we
modified a large recycled cardboard box and reused a whole bunch of newspaper
we had stored for just an occasion. Just like pass the parcel, we wrapped many
small (and large) packages for Leslie, put them inside and then sealed the box.
We then gave it to Leslie! It was quite cool. Leslie started to walk up to it
and investigate. When she was confident enough around it she placed one foot on
the box and started ripping on in. The whole thing looked a little like a scene
out of Jurassic Park! But, just like she would in the wild, Leslie worked the
box as if it were a carcass.
This is a great and easy way, to keep Leslie healthy and
active. If you have a pet at home try and create your own games or devices for
them and see how much fun they have! Brendan, Bird Show Keeper