South Africa’s first beak transplant performed on injured vulture

Posted on 8 June 2023 By Lisa Abdellah

The University of Pretoria’s Veterinary Sciences team has performed South Africa’s first beak transplant on an injured vulture to enable her to feed again. 

Photograph: Vulpro

The white-backed vulture’s beak was crushed when she was hit by a car in March 2023. So, the team used the intact beak from the carcass of a dead white-backed vulture to save the living bird’s life. 

It’s important to save vultures because the species in South Africa are at risk, and they are about to fly, increasing their chances of accidents. That’s why wildlife rescuers and the public must work together to ensure every vulture is saved. 

Photograph: Vulpro

BirdLife South Africa says three of the eight species found here are listed as ‘Critically Endangered’, another two are listed as ‘Endangered’ and one is listed as ‘Near Threatened’. The other two species are classed as vagrant species, but both are also endangered.

To find out how you can help, visit Vulpro.

ALSO READ: Cape Town’s sustainability: leading the way in environmental initiatives

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