Vulture protection

Pictured are Hank, left and Kevin with the vulture.

The “Potberg Colony” of Cape Vultures – so named because they call the Potberg Mountains in the De Hoop Nature Reserve their home – is the only remaining breeding colony of Cape Vultures in the Western Cape. It is imperative that we protect this colony, as the species is on the endangered list.

Three weeks ago, Rangers in the De Hoop Nature Reserve came across an unwell Cape Vulture. They contacted Kevin Shaw (Cape Nature Ornithologist) to collect the bird and he took it through to Eagle Encounters on the Spier Wine Farm, just outside Stellenbosch. Eagle Encounters is a wildlife rescue, rehabilitation, conservation, education and eco-tourism organisation that specialises in birds of prey. Hank Chalmers (co-owner of Eagle Encounters) examined the bird and suspected that he may have been poisoned. After flushing his system, rehydrating him then feeding him up with good food and supplements, the vulture was ready to go back to his colony.

Kevin Shaw returned to Eagle Encounters last week, to collect a strong, healthy vulture – and drove him through to the De Hoop Nature Reserve, where he was released.