Feeds

Giant vulture menaces Scottish skies

'A genuine threat to airplanes'

A new approach to endpoint data protection

Pilots over Scotland have been warned to keep a sharp eye out for a Rueppell's Griffon Vulture which is currently awol from a Cumbernauld bird of prey centre and poses "a genuine threat to airplanes".

The missing beast - a seven-year-old female called Gandalf - was flying at World of Wings when she was transported into the blue yonder.

Centre director David Ritchie explained to the BBC: "She was taking part in her daily display and started to soar. She got caught in the wind and just went higher and higher until she disappeared.

"We would warn people not to approach her but to call the police. She has no fear of humans and she could give someone a very severe bite. Her beak is designed to tear flesh apart."

The main threat, however, is to air traffic. Ritchie said: "These birds can soar higher than any other in the world, and have recorded heights of over 36,000 feet. Gandalf is an absolute monster bird with a 10-and-a-half foot wingspan. She poses a genuine threat to airplanes."

A Civil Aviation Authority spokeswoman trembled: "It can be quite serious. All the operators in the area have been notified."

A spokesman for Cumbernauld Airport confirmed the threat, warning: "With a wingspan of 10ft, it could do a lot of damage to a large aircraft. But it's also half the size of some of our small training aircraft and it could take one of them, or even a helicopter, right out."

The Beeb explains that Gandalf has been at World of Wings since 2006, when she was relocated from her home in the Sahel region of central Africa as part of a breeding programme.

There are around 30,000 Rueppell's Griffon Vultures (Gyps rueppelli) in the wild, but their numbers are threatened by "ongoing loss of habitat and other pressures". ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Brit amateur payload set to complete full circle around PLANET EARTH
Ultralight solar radio tracker in glorious 25,000km almost-space odyssey
Boffins spot weirder quantum capers as neutrons take the high road, spin takes the low
Cheshire cat effect see neutrons and their properties walk different paths
NASA Mars rover FINALLY equals 1973 Soviet benchmark
Yet to surpass ancient Greek one, however
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?