This centre claims to be a centre for bird of prey conservation - it is nothing more than a money making tourist attraction.
As a bird of prey enthusiast & conservationist of 20 years experience I was looking forward to visiting this centre during a holiday to France but was appalled at my experience.
To the untrained eye the displays are entertaining and there is no doubt that it is wonderful to see Griffon Vultures flying free over the gorge. The rhetoric of the presenters assured the large crowd that this was a centre for conservation.
However, look at little closer and you will see the birds are in poor condition and worked hard. The Lanner was possibly the slowest falcon I have ever seen and when the bird was mobbed by a black kite and fell into the trees on the cliff edge with long jesses trailing it was ignored, with no noticable response from anyone.
I was also appalled to see one of the falconers lifting vultures up by their necks to get them up to perches - is this acceptable practice?
To cap it all off, they were paranoid about video cameras and after being constantly watched by what felt like the 'secret police' I was approached twice while I tried to film some of the birds, and then told I could not film the owl display. As an enthusiast, this left me disappointed but also highly intimidated. A very unpleasant experience.
AVOID, AVOID, AVOID!!!!
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