Zoo Animals

Ruppell’s griffon vulture

Gyps rueppellii

At the Detroit Zoo
The Ruppell’s griffon vulture can be found in the African Watering Hole from April through September.

Description
The Ruppell’s griffon vulture’s body is a chocolate brown color with a distinctive white feather ring around its lightly feathered head and neck. It has yellow eyes and soft white fluff that covers the purple-red skin on its head. Its sharp tan beak is used for ripping and tearing meat from carcasses, and its neck allows it to reach inside a carcass to feed. It has powerful legs and talons used to rip meat and cling to the rock cliffs where it nests.

Fun Facts

  • From a standing start, the griffon vulture can fly more than 3 miles in six minutes.