nubiean vulture nubiean vulture Like nails, beaks grow throughout a vulture's life. (Photo: Screenshot / Youtube)

Watch doctors save the life of an endangered vulture

The special bird was slowly starving to death before they fixed its beak.

The vulture may not be humanity's favorite bird, but that didn't stop doctors in Israel's Ramat Gan Safari from performing an operation to save the life of one 22-year-old Nubian vulture.

What's so special about this vulture? It's the last one in the country.

This particular bird was born and raised on Israel's Hi Bar Hacarmel animal rescue center and has lived there all his life. Something struck his beak, and it started growing crooked. Eventually, it was so crooked that he couldn't eat anymore.

So the animal rescue people brought him to the Israeli city of Tel Aviv, where surgeons at the Ramat Gan Safari stepped in. They used files to reshape his beak; the whole thing took about half an hour. Paying so much attention to an unpopular animal isn't so surprising in a country where a girl filled her home with injured bats that she nursed back to health.

Nubian vultures are endangered; only about 9,000 are left in the world. This is mostly thanks to humanity's tendency to destroy their habitats, disturb their nesting sites and spread poisonous pesticides in their territories. People also sometimes deliberately poison them – farmers mistakenly think they kill their cattle (they generally don't), and poachers fear they'll bring attention to their poaching.

The vulture patient is all right now, but he won't be resting for long. The zoo is bringing in a young female vulture to keep him company. It's time for him to repay the favor and make some vulture babies.

MORE FROM THE GRAPEVINE:

Photos and SlideshowsPhotos and Slideshows

Related Topics: Animals

Watch doctors save the life of an endangered vulture
The special bird was slowly starving to death before they fixed its beak.