And then there’s the turkey vulture. With a face only a mother could love and a steady diet of roadkill, surely this native bird couldn’t have many fans.
Think again. On the national level, there’s the Turkey Vulture Society, a Nevada-based nonprofit dedicated to informing the public about “the valuable and essential services this bird provides.”
Closer to home, there’s Phung Luu, a Dover-based animal trainer who is passionate about all raptors, including the much-maligned turkey vulture.
“The turkey vulture is a highly intelligent animal,” says Luu, a University of Delaware alumnus. “If people got to know more about the turkey vulture they would come to appreciate it.”
Getting people to know more about turkey vultures and other raptors is Luu’s life work. He operates one company that puts on bird demonstrations. His second business, Behavior and Training Solutions, teaches zookeepers and other naturalists to work with raptors and other animals to become proficient trainers. He has one fulltime employee and also employs seasonal parttime staff.
Article by Margo McDonough
Photo by Danielle Quigley