FUN FACTS

• The Brandywine Zoo’s condor pair, Gryphus and Chavin, were hatched in 1979 at the Bronx Zoo and in 1986 at the LA Zoo, respectively.

• New World vultures, such as the Andean Condor, lack a syrinx, the vocal organ of birds. Their only vocalizations consist of growling, grunting and hissing noises.

• The pH of vultures’ gastric juices is between 0 and 1 – more acidic than humans’ stomach acid (1-2pH), vinegar (2.4pH), battery acid (0.8pH). Vulture stomach acid is so corrosive that they can safely digest putrid carcasses infected with Botulinum toxin, rabies virus, hog cholera, and anthrax bacteria that would be lethal to other scavengers.

THREATS & CONSERVATION

Condors are often wrongly persecuted by farmers because they believe incorrectly that the condors are a danger to their livestock. Farmers and ranchers commonly poison the carcasses of animals to kill predators which prey on their livestock. Vultures, which are carrion eaters and feed exclusively on dead animals, are inadvertently poisoned.