Species: Rüppell's vulture (Gyps rueppelli)
Location: Mara River, Masai Mara, Kenya
Thousands of wildebeest die in and along the Mara River every year during the Great Migration. Although some are killed by crocodiles, the vast majority get trampled on and drown during the chaos of the crossings.
Vultures provide the vital service of cleaning up all these carcasses and minimizing the chances of diseases spreading to and among other animals. It is estimated that vultures in the Mara-Serengeti Ecosystem consume more meat than all the lions, leopards, cheetahs, hyenas and other carnivores combined. They play an essential role in keeping the ecosystem healthy.