When we talk about birds most people think of cuddly, harmless and pet-like creatures that can serve as toys for their children. But not all birds are as harmless as we would like to think. There is a species of birds that are not to be trifled with – the vulture is one of them.

Even the name sounds like a creature from a horror movie. As much as birds are adorable, this specie is not your friend – given a chance, it would eat you without hesitation.

Regarded as the ‘hyena of all birds’, this bird’s cunning, ruthless and daring nature drives it to even challenge the queen of the jungle, the lioness, for her meal. It is a one of a kind bird that we rarely get to interact with unless the angel of death visits, so to speak.

Which leaves me to ask – is there a dark secret behind the vulture’s existence? Could the vulture be a favoured pet of the angel of death?

Think about it. Why is it that when an animal dies in the wild, it is the vulture that gets wind of such news before any other scavenger? I suspect the vulture may have struck a deal with the angel of death in the animal kingdom for an endless supply of food in exchange for aesthetics – because the vulture, as we know it, is truly one of the ugliest birds in the wild?

But then again, if such a deal did indeed exist between the angel of death and the cunning vulture, wouldn’t there be proof of such an arrangement – however scarce? Let us examine the lifestyle of a vulture and see if there is some truth in this hypothesis.

One of the questions that I always ask myself every time I watch a wildlife documentary that carries the common hunter-hunted theme is, where do the vultures materialise from after a kill by a feline or other predator?

An animal can be killed right in the open grasslands away from any huge trees overlooking the grassland where a committee of vultures could be and minutes later you will see them hovering above the kill. Where do they get their information from?

Who is their source? If the vulture did this once or twice, we could be tempted to attribute it to luck. But to do this every single time and with such precision on time is not luck.

The vulture must have insider information about where things are going down at all times. And who better to give such information than the angel of death himself.

This is one of the reasons that leads me to believe that the vulture has a deal with the angel of death. Now let us focus on the vulture’s names. When vultures are in a group they are referred as a committee.

A bird has to have some serious connections in order to be bestowed such a name. In our society, that name echoes in the most powerful and influential group of people, the parliamentarians.

For a vulture to wield such a title in itself shows, without a shadow of doubt, it has some powerful friends – one of them, I bet, would be the angel of death. If that is not convincing enough then what would you say to a group of vultures eating being called a wake?

But there may very well be the likelihood that the vulture is innocent of all these accusations. That it could just be a victim of circumstances – just like the other scavengers.

There is even a more sinister way of looking at this whole scenario – that the vulture could be the angel of death himself! Think about it, the vulture is known to attack wounded and small sick animals in the wild.

If you brought those animals back to life and asked them what they encountered minutes before their demise, they would, probably in great fear, tell you how they had a visit from the angel of death. Since none escapes or survives to reveal this, the vulture’s secret stays intact.

I know at this juncture you may be tempted to ask me; if the vulture was indeed the angel of death, how then does he not kill the other bigger and healthy animals as well? Then I would say to you that the vulture is not foolish either.

The vulture knows that if it attacks a bigger and healthy animal like a buffalo, for example, the animal would most likely survive and reveal the well-hidden secret.

So the vulture sits high in the trees and waits. It knows that sooner than later the lions will get hungry and when they do, they will kill a buffalo. So it waits and waits until such a time that one of the buffaloes goes down. The tables suddenly turn.

Being the angel of death, it swoops down to claim its rightful meal and upon arrival, even the queen of the jungle is no match for the committee of death.

Let me hear your thoughts on the hyena of all birds. Leave a comment below. I would love to hear some of your experiences with the vulture in the wild.