Where are Kushukuru and Toba?
Kushukuru (“Kushu” for short), now 2.5 years old, and Toba, who is almost 2 years old, are living in a different habitat at the Cheetah Conservation Station! They have moved in with Ruppell’s griffon vultures Tuck and Natelie. We introduced the boys to the new space slowly, as some of the noises from other animals and equipment are new. They showed great progress and moved calmly into a “safe zone” whenever they were afraid.
Kushu and Toba have matured to the point where it was naturally time for them to leave the family herd. We timed the separation based on social cues, as there was an escalation in sparring between the boys’ and their father, Garrett. Kushu and Toba are very close and have each other for company, which is good for a herd animal.
How did the vultures react to Kushu and Toba?
Tuck and Natelie were very curious about their new exhibit mates. They hung around the mesh separating the yard and stall area quite bit when Kushu and Toba first arrived. However, as they got used to the kudu, they gradually spent more time in their usual spots in the yard.
We introduced Kushu and Toba to the yard in early August and soon had all four animals out at the same time. The first time Kushu and Toba realized they were sharing the yard with the vultures — without a fence or anything in between them — they became very alert. They both cautiously approached Tuck and Natelie with their heads high, ears forward and neck bobbing. However, within ten minutes they realized all was well and stood next to the vultures to eat!