Griffon vulture sighted in Zeeland week after zoo escape


A griffon vulture which escaped from Blijdorp zoo in Rotterdam has been spotted in the dunes near Burgh-Haamstede in Zeeland as efforts to locate and catch the bird continue.

The vulture has been on the loose for a week. Experts initially expected it would remain in the vicinity of the zoo but it has now been spotted heading south and is some 80 kilometres from the zoo.

How the animal, which hatched last year and has not yet been named, could get out of the enclosure is not clear, zoo officials said.

‘Vultures are scavengers and don’t pose any danger to the public,’ falconer Rob van Dipten told the AD. ‘But they do have a very powerful beak and sharp claws, so my advice would be to steer clear.’

Griffon vultures can fly hundreds of kilometres a day at a speed of up to 70 kilometres per hour. Occasionally wild griffon vultures from Spain have made their way to the Netherlands, usually when food is scarce. Last year one made its home on Texel for a time.

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