Vultures play a critical role in keeping the environment from crashing. However, these vital birds are under siege in Zimbabwe as poachers are killing elephants using poisons which are also killing vultures which fed on the poisoned carcasses.
Though elephant poisonings are well documented in Zimbabwe, many people in the country are oblivious to the threats poachers pose to vultures, or just how important these birds are to the environment. Even though efforts to save the country’s vultures are underway, experts are worried about the growing carnage and fear that these vultures face extinction not only in Zimbabwe but across southern Africa.
Against this backdrop, the Victoria Falls Safari Lodge has come up with an innovative way of protecting vultures. It has developed a ‘vulture restaurant’, providing leftover meat as safe food and attracting as many as 200 vultures at a time.
Visitors who come to see the spectacle of these birds swooping down to feed also learn about the threats vultures face and about their ecological importance. The tourists are encouraged to make a donation towards vulture conservation and research.
“Vultures are sentinels of the skies with eyesight to 100km, and therefore poachers have identified them as a threat or tell-tale for Victoria Falls Anti-Poaching Unit scouts and National Parks scouts to know where poachers are operating, as they are attracted to the kill. Thus, poachers will kill an impala or kudu 5km away from their target elephant or rhino to distract surveillance.”
Whilst in Victoria Falls why not Visit the Vulture Restaurant at Victoria Falls Safari Lodge.