A pair of colorful king vultures is now on exhibit for the first time at the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero.
The species, native to the southern regions of Mexico south to Argentina, are scavengers with hooked beaks and a wingspan of up to 5.5 feet. Their white, cream and black feathers paired with the orange and yellow highlights on their face make them stand out among other birds of prey, zoo staff say.
The zoo’s new pair, located across from the existing flamingo exhibit, features a male and female king vulture.
“We renovated an existing exhibit to suit this species,” Animal Collections Manager Kate Capela said.
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The birds moved into the exhibit Wednesday afternoon after they spent 30 days in the zoo’s quarantine for new animals. Staff hopes the birds breed a chick this spring.
The Charles Paddock Zoo at 9100 Morro Road is operated by the city of Atascadero.