The Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo just released a griffon vulture in Sardinia as part of the conservation program.
But this bird is a little different from the others – it was raised by two male parents.
Zoo keeper Job van Tol said that the pair of male vultures was “a very tight couple.”
“We have had them for some years. They always build a nest together, bond and mate together.”
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So last year, when the zoo staff found an egg that the other vultures weren’t caring for, they gave it to the gay vulture pair.
Zoo keepers said that the pair took turns sitting on the egg. When it hatched, they fed their chick regurgitated food.
After they cared for the chick for about a year, it was taken to an aviary in Sardinia to get used to the warmer weather, and then it was released into the wild. Staffers at the aviary will continue to leave out carcasses for the birds until they get used to living in the wild.
“We could see the vultures floating above the area – a truly magnificent sight,” zoo director Rembrandt Sutorius said.
The conservation project has released 12 griffon vultures so far on the island that researchers estimate is home to only thirty pairs of vultures. According to the BBC, vultures were almost wiped out in Europe in the 1970’s because farmers poisoned them.