For some the word ‘vulture’ has a negative connotation and these birds of prey are considered to be dirty, unattractive and repulsive. However, they play a critical role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by consuming carcasses rapidly after the death of animals and are particularly important in naturally controlling and limiting the spread of animal diseases, including those that threaten human health.

There are two unrelated groups of vultures, the New World vultures (7 species) in the Americas, and the Old World vultures (16 species) in Europe, Asia and Africa. Both groups have an acute eyesight with which they spot dead animals, but only the New World vultures can detect carrion by smell. Most of the African species are in the category of critically endangered.


HESC maintains a strict policy of no contact or interaction with animals kept on the property. Our policy is aligned with international trends based on animal ethics and welfare and is aimed at ensuring the safety and health of both animals and visitors. Our policy further endorses the right of animals to live a life without fear, which is often the consequence of close contact with humans with whom they are not acquainted. We avoid human-imprinting, whereby the animals will identify more with humans than with their own species and cause them to become problem animals once released.