A baby black vulture was born into freedom in 2005, in Tuscon, Arizona. He should have lived a great life, soaring high above the mountain ranges and flying on winds streams. The vulture’s only predator, humans, interfered and changed this vultures life forever, the day humans stole him from his nest.
The innocent chick was taken to a location known as Trabajo Religioso Medicinal which translates to Medicinal Religious Work, in Arizona, where he was kept tied to the back steps of a business. The vulture was being kept alive with the view to harvesting his body parts for voodoo medicinal uses.
As the chick began to grow, the business owners cut his toe nails so short that three of his nails never grew again, leaving him with permanently crippled feet. This is serious because healthy feet are needed for an adult vulture’s survival, in catching food and ripping it apart to eat.
Next door to the business was a print shop and their steady stream of customers began calling the bird Egor. It didn’t take long before the print shop customers noticed Egor was suffering and in trouble, as his condition worsened. Rumors already circulated in the town that animals which were brought to the neighboring business never came out again.
As concern grew for the young vulture, the print shop owners phoned a well known wildlife rescue organization in Tuscon, and reported Egor’s condition and asked if a rescuer would come out and look at the vulture tied up at the back of the business next door.
Tuscon Wildlife Center founder, Lisa, answered the call and met Egor for the first time. She was gravely concerned for his well being, but unable to act at that time as the business owners let her know the bird was theirs. Lisa was horrified to see Egor was only being fed cheap bird seed, which verified Egor needed immediate help because he was not receiving the diet he needed to survive.
Somehow Egor escaped and ended up on top of a two story building. This was the perfect opportunity for the print shop to phone Game and Fish, who asked the Tucson Wildlife Center to attend the rescue. The date was August 11, 2005.
Lisa arrived at the building and was met by the Egor’s owners from the neighboring business to the print shop, who pointed a voodoo doll at her, mumbling things to try and scare her. Climbing two flights up on the ladder attached to the building, Lisa’s only focus was rescuing Egor. She put a net over him, lowered him into a box and carried him down to take to the rescue shelter.
After a veterinarian examination Egor was found to have 15 stress fractures from critical calcium deficiencies.
Egor’s previous owners were charged by the authorities and forced to pay a penalty for their cruelty to the vulture. Meanwhile, Egor was nursed back to wellness by Lisa and her team and released on the site to become a free bird for the first time in his life.
Egor was the only Black Vulture in the area, and although there were many local Turkey Vultures, Egor did not enjoy their company. He spent his days hanging round the rescue shelter, following volunteers around all day. If an animal had to be rescued within walking distance, Egor would go too!
As he matured he became more destructive and began challenging the neighbor’s greyhound dogs, which she bred. Fear’s were now held for Egor’s safety. Next he damaged Lisa’s husband’s truck and a volunteer’s motorcycle.
Because Egor was stolen from his mother as a young chick, he was not socialized correctly. Because he was forced to live tied to a step, he was not scared to be close to people, which was fine as a cute baby chick, not as an adult Black Vulture.
The team from the Tuscon Wildlife Center love Edgor and for his own protection they decided it was time to pen him up, where he could live out his life in peace and safety, and still participate with all the volunteers.
If your in the Tuscon area, please drop by and visit Egor. He loves visitors and as the shelter’s mascot, he’s quite a celebrity!
Tuscon Wildlife Center are Southern Arizona’s only state-of-the-art wildlife hospital running 24/7, 365 days a year. The team at this center are dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Southern Arizona’s injured orphaned wildlife.
Please consider donating: http://tucsonwildlife.com/ways-to-support/
Thank you for reading,
DONATIONS: WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND the Vietnam Animal Aid And Rescue (VAAR), who save all animals, including injured animals from the streets and dog meat dogs and cats. VAAR run a Vet Training Education Program to teach local vets and trainees, humane practice on pets within Vietnam, as many local Vietnamese vets do not use anesthetic on dogs or cats during open surgery!
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