Imagine paragliding thousands of feet above the world, absorbing a brand new perspective of your homeland. Just a few strings, a bit of metal, and some cloth protects you from a life-ending plummet. Now imagine sharing the exhilarating ride with a massive bird; not Larry, but a giant black vulture sharing the view before perching itself to your foot rest.
That’s exactly what happened to a man in Brazil back in May. Lucky for us, video captured by Rafael Vital – the paraglider – catches the cruise.
However, the excursion isn’t surprising to Vital. Why? Training. The magnificent black vulture is not a wild beast, but a friend’s pet. Adventure is a gift for the creature and Vital after environmentalists labeled the bird incapable of returning to nature.
Vital mentions on an Instagram post, “I am a close friend of this unusual bird. I’ve lived with him since he had no feathers. This bird belongs to a great friend, I believe he remembers me well since he was young. I return the affection whenever I can.”
Pictures of the black vulture as a nestling on Vital’s social media certainly makes the brute much less intimidating.
Just How Intimidating is a Wild Black Vulture?
Intimidating enough to change state laws. The creatures caused such a stir in rural Indiana last year, the state’s farm bureau removed certain protections after complaints of the vultures attacking cows. Because of United States Environmental Protection Agency’s code prohibiting the killing of migratory birds, the vultures had free rein.
An estimated 25 cattle died at the hands of the wild beasts, much to the chagrin of the farmhands. Upon the state removing specific preservations, farmers began shooting a limited number of the vultures to alleviate their land from the predator.
Note to self: don’t go paragliding with my pet vulture over any farms in Indiana.