Feeds

Giant vulture menaces Scottish skies

'A genuine threat to airplanes'

Top three mobile application threats

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
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.