The bearded vulture breeding season in the captive breeding network is in full swing – one of the necessary tasks is to carry out adoptions. Bearded vultures lay two eggs, but as in this species there is obligatory caiinism (the older chick kills the younger one), zoos and other partners in the captive breeding network often try to transfer the second egg or chick to be adopted by a foster pair.
This was the case with the second egg from the pair living in Ostrava Zoo (Czech Republic) – it was extracted just before hatching. The chick was then hand-raised for the first few days, but was then transported to Vienna to be adopted by the pair of bearded vultures there. Hand raising chicks for more than a week causes them to imprint on humans, and they are then not able to reproduce with their conspecifics later on, so this adoption is extremely important if one wants to raise chicks to be released in the reintroduction projects.
This process was beautifully captured on film by Enrico Gombala. See the film below.