Rüppell’s griffon vulture

No, of course we haven’t seen vultures circling over the park; that would be silly. But…..

…yesterday, while we were researching the common swift’s world records for the longest time in flight and the fastest level flight, we found that the record for the highest flight is currently held by the unfortunate Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture that collided with a plane at 37,000 feet somewhere over west Africa in 1973.

Rüppell’s griffon vulture by Tarique Sani (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) flickr.com

The plane flew on with one damaged engine and landed safely at Abijan airport in Ivory Coast; the remains of the vulture were identified by the US National Museum of Natural History.

Some facts are just irresistible.

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