Feeds

Giant vulture menaces Scottish skies

'A genuine threat to airplanes'

High performance access to file storage

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". ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Fancy joining Reg hack on quid-a-day challenge?
Recruiting now for charity starvation diet
Red-faced LOHAN team 'fesses up in blown SPEARS fuse fiasco
Standing in the corner, big pointy 'D' hats
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
LOHAN's Punch and Judy show relaunches Thursday
Weather looking good for second pop at test flights
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully
Clandestine NRO spacecraft sets off on its unknown mission
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.