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International Vulture Awareness Day at Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge

There are 23 different species of vulture in the world and each year, at the beginning of September, these important birds are celebrated on International Vulture Awareness Day (IVAD), with special events at Animal Kingdom and Animal Kingdom Lodge.

A special area is set up at Rafiki’s Planet Watch with information about vultures. There are informational signs, books, pictures and vulture-related items on display.

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Did you know that the vultures from Disney’s Jungle Book are African White-backed Vultures?

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Every day at 10:00 you can view a real animal exam or (surgical) procedure at Rafiki’s Planet Watch. You never know what they’re going to do, but they could come out with anything, from little birds to monkeys and lions (the elephants and giraffes don’t fit through the door).

Today they had, appropriately, a routine exam of a Ruppell’s Griffon Vulture.

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Cast member Donna was outside with a Black Vulture.

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In the park they had several stations with vulture activities and information. At this place you could put on the ‘wings’ of a Lappet-faced Vulture, which has a wingspan of 8.2 to 9.5 feet!

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At Animal Kingdom Lodge you can watch when animal keepers feed the Rueppell’s Griffon Vultures.

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A guest can wave the flag to signal the vultures to come.

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Then animal keepers will put some nice bones for them to nom on.

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The next International Vulture Awareness Day will be held on September 7th 2013. Be sure to check out vultureday.org for more information.

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