Reporting Date: 3rd October 2011.
VULTURES IN THE SERENGETI.
Wildebeests carcasses are at the moment a common feature in the Serengeti plains. Not all of them have died as a result of predators, natural causes such as fatigue and diseases also play a big role in reducing their numbers. This explains the reason why we sometimes find fresh deaths with no wounds at all. This has attracted lots of scavengers in the form of vultures of which about four species are seen on a daily basis either over-flying the carcasses or actually feasting on them. The species commonly found around the carcasses are, the white-backed, ruppels, hooded and lappet-faced. The marabou stork has not been left behind on these scavenging sites although they are a bit disadvantaged as their bill is not adapted for tearing open the carcasses. They have to wait for the vultures to move in first. Together, they all play a major role in decomposing the carcasses of the wildebeests and other mammals that die in the Serengeti and Mara eco-system.