Can You Own A Pet Vulture?

Do vultures make good pets? The short answer is no. Getting a pet vulture is nothing I would recommend doing. Keeping the scavengers as pets is illegal in most countries and it would be hard to take proper care of one. In this article, I tell you what it would be like to own one of these birds of prey.

Before you decide to get a new pet it’s essential to inform yourself about the species you want to own. Some animals are tempting, but when you take a second look, it’s obvious that they would make terrible pets. Now let’s start and dive into the topic.

Are Pet Vultures Legal?

No, in the United States as well as in Canada, Mexico and many other countries, keeping a vulture is illegal. All vulture species like turkey vultures, bearded vultures and lappet-face vultures are protected under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. All other migratory bird species, for example, ravens, are protected under this law too.

Summarized this means that it is illegal to keep a vulture in captivity, except you are a zoo or professional wildlife rehabilitator. There is no way to get a permit or license if you are a private person and want a vulture as a pet for your enjoyment.

Of course, some people are keeping vultures without a permit. But that is nothing you want to do as it is highly unethical and would make proper care even harder or impossible.

Veterinary Care Would Be Hard To Find

Imagine how it would be to search for a vet for a pet that nobody owns. Right, there are no vets except of those who work full-time at a zoo or animal shelter. 

Even if your vulture would be healthy all the time, regular checkups are necessary.

You Would Have To Deal With Food

Many people think, that vultures only eat meat when it starts to spoil. But that is not true at all. Vultures have very strong stomach acids which kill bacteria and viruses but they still prefer their food fresh.

One exception would be species that live solely on bones. However, you would still have to deal with a lot of meat every day. In this article you can learn more about the vultures’ diet.

Vultures Need To Free Fly

Just like hawks, falcons or eagles, vultures need to fly a lot. A cage would not be enough for your new pet nor would every enclosure you are able to build.

A lot of training would be needed to let your vulture fly and to make sure he returns every time. A bird-like this needs to fly often what would definitely limit the ability to go on vacations. It’s also unlikely that you would find a person that wants to and is able to take care of when you are away.

Other Things You Need To Know

Lappet-face vulture

Mainly that’s it. Pet vultures don’t come along with so many negative aspects as other exotic animals. But the ones you learned about in this article should be enough to convince you that they aren’t the right choice for you.

However, vultures are fascinating animals that come along with a friendly character and intelligence. Actually, it’s sad, that they make such terrible pets but if you want you can get in contact with these creatures through voluntary work at a zoo.

Another option is to become a licensed wildlife rehabilitator yourself. But that would require a lot of work.