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Grand Traverse Turkey Vulture

Last week, a Grand Traverse County resident opened his garage and found that several boxes had been mysteriously moved.

Fearing that someone had broken into the space, he started to investigate — that’s when he found this turkey vulture hiding in the corner.

The homeowner estimated that the vulture had been trapped in the garage for a few days. Vultures can smell rotting flesh from over a mile away, so there’s a chance that it smelled something in the garage and just wanted an easy meal.

When we first admitted the vulture, it was emaciated and dehydrated. We are still continuing to treat it, but we are pleased to report that it is now strong enough to be in an outdoor enclosure.

Turkey vultures are one of the most misunderstood raptors that we have in Michigan, so to help set the record straight about them, here are a few interesting facts:

|| They’re Nature’s cleaning crew: they help clean up the environment by eating dead flesh before it rots and causes more diseases

|| The warts around their eyes vary from one vulture to the next and are caused from being exposed to bacteria on decaying flesh. The more warts, the better the scavenger a vulture is, so having a large amount is considered an attractive quality in a mate

|| Because they eat carrion, their stomachs have evolved to have the lowest gastric pH level in the animal kingdom. Not only can their stomachs dissolve metal, but their acid can also destroy botulism, anthrax, rabies, cholera, hepatitis, and polio



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