• Circling high above the South African plains, nature's own sanitation crew spots another clean-up site. Cape vultures provide an invaluable service to the farmers below, disposing of carcasses and preventing the spread of disease. But Wild Chronicles has discovered that some vultures are dying, and the farmers may be playing a role.

    1. How soon do vultures arrive to feast on a fresh carcass?

      Vultures can arrive within minutes.

    2. Why do some South African farmers put poison in carcasses on their land?

      Farmers hope to poison jackals, a scavenger that also preys on livestock.

    3. How is Dr. Gerhard Verdoorn working to reduce the unintended vulture deaths?

      He is working with farmers to set more efficient, humane traps that only target jackals.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    carcass Noun

    dead body.

    disease Noun

    harmful condition of a body part or organ.

    farmer Noun

    person who cultivates land and raises crops.

    invaluable Adjective

    priceless, or extremely valuable.

    plain Noun

    flat, smooth area at a low elevation.

    Encyclopedic Entry: plain
    sanitation Noun

    promotion of hygiene, health, and cleanliness.

    vulture Noun

    bird that mostly eats dead animals.