The Great Migration between Kenya and Tanzania literally involves millions of animals. Giant herds of wildebeest , zebra and Thomson’s Gazelle traverse the vast plains of this part of East Africa following the rains and sprouting of new grass.
An inevitable feature of this annual journey is the death of thousands of animals, which either fall prey to the large predators, succumb to adverse weather conditions or simply prove too weak to complete the trek.
The fact that, relatively speaking, one can find very little physical evidence of these deaths, is solely due to the work of the scavengers. In the main this group is made up of various species of vulture, Marabou Storks and hyena.
Perhaps the most efficient of these scavengers are the vultures, being able to strip a carcass down to clean bone in an extraordinarily short time. Should one witness such an event, it is no exaggeration to say that the carcass literally disappears before one’s eyes! This incredible efficiency to “clean up” has earned the vulture the local nickname of “mortician”.
This image, captured in the Masai Mara conservancy in Kenya, East Africa, shows a number of “morticians” meeting in the shade of a tree. The President of the Morticians Union can be clearly seen in his elevated position right at the top, with his trusted lieutenants overseeing the assembled members.