El hombre que quiso ser buitre leonado

Director: Javier Rodriguez

Producer: EscapadaRural

Country: Spain


"Vultures will disappear" says Manuel Aguilera. Manu "the one with the vultures" has spent his whole life among carrion birds. He is 69 years old. At the age of 12, he began to escape with his bicycle to the Binaced garbage dump, in Huesca, his usual town.He could not study a career. Couldn't be a biologist. It couldn't be scientific. But he had the method inside: he got a field notebook, a pen and a corpse in which to get into to see the vultures without being seen. That gave him endless intellectual pleasure, fevers and typhus. More than fifty years later, he continues to learn every day about griffon vultures, black vultures, bearded vultures, and Egyptian vultures. It collects the leftovers from the slaughterhouse and takes them to one of the five feeders. The vultures have no food and in ten years, according to Manu's calculations, they will disappear.He says that vultures do not kidnap babies, that their claws have no prehensile capacity, that they have been treated as vermin, monsters, ugly, ferocious, dangerous animals. But up close they look like big chickens, with a wingspan of two meters, scary. They have already accepted Manuel Aguilera, and he is the only one who can get close to them.They are endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. They are a jewel to care for and pamper. They are companions of the humans who clean their fields, who prevent them from infectious diseases. But during their first year of life they must cross the country and reach sub-Saharan Africa. On the way there and back, many die. And those who arrive are starving. Except for some that Manu manages to save.


Raise awareness about the state of vultures in Spain and publicize a tourist activity that helps save them.