Cape Town, June 8(ANI): South African wildlife experts have said that one of the world's rarest vultures are being taken to the edge of extinction by local gamblers to gain supernatural powers to predict results in this month's football World Cup.
Traditional myths suggest that smoking the brain of rare Cape vultures will give them "muti" magic.
"Our research suggests that killing of vultures for so-called traditional use could render the Cape vulture extinct in some parts of South Africa within half a century," The Telegraph quoted Steve McKean, from the KwaZulu-Natal Wildlife group, as saying.
McKean, who has been studying the impact of muti, further said that in the worst case scenario, "the Cape vulture could be suffering population collapse within 12 years."
Another expert from BirdLife South Africa, Anderson, agreed that the belief would accelerate the decline in the number of vultures.
"Many vulture species across the world are in trouble. Our own species in southern Africa is declining sharply for a number of reasons, including reduced food availability, deliberate poisoning and electrocution from electricity pylons," Anderson said.
"The harvesting of the birds' heads by followers of muti magic is an additional threat these birds can't endure," he added. (ANI)