At the Detroit Zoo
The Ruppell's griffon vultures can be found next to the camels from April through September.
The Ruppell's griffon vulture's body is a chocolate brown color with a distinctive white feather ring around its lightly feathered head and neck. It has yellow eyes and soft white fluff that covers the purple-red skin on its head. Its sharp tan beak is used for ripping and tearing meat from carcasses, and its neck allows it to reach inside a carcass to feed. It has powerful legs and talons used to rip meat and cling to the rock cliffs where it nests.
Scientific name: Gyps rueppellii
Habitat: Grasslands and dry, arid areas
Size: 3 to 3.5 feet
Weight: 13 to 18 pounds
Diet: Carrion (dead and decaying flesh)
Reproduction: One egg that incubates for 55 days
Lifespan: 40 to 50 years
Conservation Status: Endangered
From a standing start, the griffon vulture can fly more than 3 miles in six minutes.