Animal Ark learned that there was a turkey vulture in a rehabilitation facility that could be euthanized if deemed non-releasable. The original causes of the vulture’s injuries are still unknown. After a biologist associated with the rehabilitation facility tried to release the vulture with no success, a permanent home was prepared at Animal Ark. Ivan arrived at Animal Ark on Saturday, July 7, 2012.
The scientific name of the turkey vulture (cathartes) comes from the Greek word kathartes which means a cleanser or purifier and refers to the scavenging nature of the bird. The turkey vulture feeds almost entirely on carrion, and is one of the few birds of prey that uses its sense of smell to locate food. Turkey vultures have an elevated hind toe for walking, cool their body by urinating on their legs, and do not possess a voice box so they are nearly silent, except for hisses and grunts. Some scientists believe that these vultures are more closely related to storks than hawks and eagles.