Shotgun pellets and drugs spoil the vultures’ rotten food
The scavengers are unwittingly ingesting lead and other toxins found in carcasses at feeding sites
Even vultures must beware junk food. Those irresistible rotting carcasses at their local “restaurant” below, spied from high, could be inadvertently contaminated with lead pellets or drugs.
The first study into SA’s 143 active vulture-feeding sites (https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/acv.12561), led by UCT scientist Christiaan Brink, has found that they are a major source of food to the rapidly disappearing species, but are not without risk.
Not all site suppliers know about the dangers of unintentionally poisoning the vultures via dead meat contaminated with toxic lead fragments from hunting ammunition and veterinary drugs...