I was having a good time resting in a country house near Pamplona, Spain in the Valley of Ultzama when the “little bird” of the picture landed on our garden, and decided to stay there. A vulture in the garden! A big one! and aggressive. He charged against us when we approached him. Anyway, I took my camera, because you don’t see those animals so close so frequently. We call the Animal Protection service and they told us that he was probably a young vulture tired of flying and hungry and that he would fly away by himself. So we were instructed to leave him alone and wait till next day.
Sure enough, next day, our vulture was still in our garden. As I suspected, he hadn’t enough space to run and fly. These birds have an enormous wingspan. They need space. And our garden had plenty of trees. So we call again and they sent us a woman with a blanket, a cage, and a land rover.
I was there with my camera again, but she wouldn’t allow me to take pictures of her.
The capture of the vulture resulted more complicated than expected. When he saw the blanket he began to run all around the place to escape. Thanks God, the gardener who had been a forest ranger, came to the rescue with a net and he caught the head of the vulture. Between the two of them immobilized the bird who was fighting with tremendous strength. Then they realized the cage was to far away and asked me to take it to them. So I found myself being a partner of the rescue team. The cage was too small for the large bird and the blanket so I had to make force with my legs to kept it in its place while the other two were pushing the back of the bird to make him fit into the little space. Mi legs were just where the beak of thee angry and scared vulture was, but the cage protected me.
Finally, they managed to close the cage and put into the trunk of the Land Rover. We went to the mountains and found a hill were there were other vultures and we freed ours there. The woman with the Land Rover didn’t let me wait to see if the vulture would join his comrades. So I Only could take this farewell picture of him.