In the ancient times, many Zoroastrians left the dead bodies of their friends and family on the mountains for the vultures to eat. That's why the vulture is the most sacred bird in the Avesta. The vulture is nature’s garbage collector. It eats the dead animals before they decay. This way it prevents disease and cleans up the environment. The vulture is the biggest meat eater in nature. Did you know vultures in Africa eat more than 27,500 tons of meat each year?
There are two kinds of vultures: New World vulture, which lives in America and the Old World vulture (on the right), which lives in Africa and Asia. The Old World vultures are related to eagles, but New World vultures are related to storks.