Escaped black vulture allowed to keep his freedom

A black vulture that escaped from Pacific Northwest Raptors in Duncan after a tree poked a large hole in his enclosure in June appears to be doing extremely well.   General Manager Robin Radcliffe says the vulture, named Balthazar, was brought to the centre from Georgia as an injured bird who was deemed unreleasable.

But Radcliffe says Balthazar proved everyone wrong, and since he poses no danger to native species a decision was made to let him have his freedom.

Lately Balthazar has been spotted hanging around with a flock of turkey vultures in Metchosin, and Radcliffe says that's great news: 

" And then we started hearing I guess just a week, or a week and a half ago, started hearing sightings of him down on southern Vancouver Island. So we were pretty thrilled because that's exactly what we were hoping for is that he would follow the turkey vultures, hang out with them and then head south with them." 

Radcliffe says if Balthazar flies south it's hoped he'll stay there. He may even find other black vultures to hang out with.  Black vultures are slightly smaller than turkey vultures and have a bare black head, rather than the red head of the turkey vultures.

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