On 27 June 2016, VulPro published a press release with the heading: “From triumph to tragedy – “Sunset”, one of VulPro’s first captive bred chicks electrocuted”.
Last year, VulPro experienced the triumph of being the first vulture conservation organization on the African continent to release captive bred, parent raised Cape Vultures (Gyps coprotheres) into the wild in SA. With the IUCN Red List conservation status of Cape Vultures being “Endangered”, the survival of every single vulture counts in order to sabe the species as a whole.
Cape Vulture Tag 148, also known as “Sunset” (named in honour of Copper Sunset Sands (Pty) Ltd, who sponsored his GPS tracking device, was released in February 2015 from the VulPro rehabilitation facilities, outside of Hartebeepoort Dam. He was hatched at VulPro on 2 July 2012, and was released when he was almost three years old – a behaviourally and physically fit Cape Vulture. For over a year, Sunset roosted at VulPro and foraged only within 8km of the release site. On 8 June 2016, he ventured further afield. t hy verder weggevlieg. However, on 21 June, this trip ended tragically in the Randfontein area (72.35km direct line from VulPro). His body was found electrocuted under a T-structure which was missing a spark gap in the earth line. The force of the electrocution was so powerful that the GPS device he was wearing was found 10m from his charred body. In the blink of an eye, three years’ effort and research to facilitate his successful relase was extinguished in a single incident…
Important: On 17 September 2016, from 08:00 – 13:00, the Spinathon Fundraising for VulPro will take place. More information at www.vulpto.com/events.