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Trained vulture lands on paraglider and hitches ride at 100ft while soaring over Brazilian mountains

This is the incredible moment when a trained vulture flew next to a paraglider and even sat on its lap while 100 feet in the air.

Video shows Ricardo Guimarães Cunha, 30, paragliding in the mountainous region of Pacatuba, in northeastern Brazil, as the bird of prey flies next to him.

The trained vulture, named Urú, lands in flight on Ricardo’s arm and legs, with the Brazilian extending his hand to pet the bird.

The vulture was rescued at a young age by Ricardo’s friend and environmentalist Israel Mendes and has since been trained to fly alongside paragliders to give them a better flying experience in what’s known as “parahawking.”

The trained vulture, named Urú, lands on Ricardo's arm and legs in flight.

The trained vulture, named Urú, lands on Ricardo’s arm and legs in flight.

Ricardo is seen reaching out to pet the bird while paragliding 100 feet in the air

Ricardo is seen reaching out to pet the bird while paragliding 100 feet in the air

Ricardo is seen reaching out to pet the bird while paragliding 100 feet in the air

The trained vulture flew next to the paraglider and even sat on his lap while 30 feet in the air

The trained vulture flew next to the paraglider and even sat on his lap while 30 feet in the air

The trained vulture flew next to the paraglider and even sat on his lap while 30 feet in the air

Video shows Ricardo Guimarães Cunha, 30, paragliding in the mountainous region of Pacatuba, in northeastern Brazil, as the bird of prey flies next to him

Video shows Ricardo Guimarães Cunha, 30, paragliding in the mountainous region of Pacatuba, in northeastern Brazil, as the bird of prey flies next to him

Video shows Ricardo Guimarães Cunha, 30, paragliding in the mountainous region of Pacatuba, in northeastern Brazil, as the bird of prey flies next to him

Ricardo has flown with Urú twice before, but this flight was the first where the vulture landed on him multiple times while in the air.

Ricardo, a dive instructor from Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, captured the entire interaction on his GoPro.

The videos of their flights together have made Ricardo a viral sensation – his clips on Instagram have now been viewed more than 1 million times.

Ricardo said, “Flying gives you a tremendous sense of freedom. It’s great, but with company it’s even better!

“It was a crazy flight – the conditions were crazy, especially with a bird constantly landing on me!

“He’s incredibly smart and came with me to have fun.”

1660716033 145 Trained vulture lands on paraglider and hitches ride at 100ft

1660716033 145 Trained vulture lands on paraglider and hitches ride at 100ft

The vulture was rescued at a young age by Ricardo’s friend and environmentalist Israel Mendes and has since been trained to fly alongside paragliders to give them a better flying experience in what is known as “parahawking.”

Ricardo has flown with Urú twice before, but this flight was the first where the vulture landed on him multiple times while in the air

Ricardo has flown with Urú twice before, but this flight was the first where the vulture landed on him multiple times while in the air

Ricardo has flown with Urú twice before, but this flight was the first where the vulture landed on him multiple times while in the air

Ricardo, a dive instructor from Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, captured the entire interaction on his GoPro

Ricardo, a dive instructor from Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, captured the entire interaction on his GoPro

Ricardo, a dive instructor from Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, captured the entire interaction on his GoPro

Ricardo is pictured next to the trained vulture before paragliding

Ricardo is pictured next to the trained vulture before paragliding

Ricardo is pictured next to the trained vulture before paragliding

In 2020, video footage taken over Algodonales, in Andalusia, southern Spain, showed a trained vulture flying alongside a pair of paragliders as they soared over mountains.

British instructor Scott Mason pioneered the activity known as “parahawking,” in which trained birds lead him to thermal columns.

The columns of warm air provide lift that allows Scott to extend his air journeys while making the experience more bird-like by mimicking their flight patterns.

A huge bird of prey dove in to join a pair of paragliders as they soared through the sky over Algodonales, Andalusia

A huge bird of prey dove in to join a pair of paragliders as they soared through the sky over Algodonales, Andalusia

A huge bird of prey dove in to join a pair of paragliders as they soared through the sky over Algodonales, Andalusia

The birds are sporadically rewarded with pieces of meat that Scott or the tandem mate is holding.

Scott, who has been training birds since he was ten, told… narrative that he pioneered parahawking to draw attention to birds of prey in Asia and Europe — and has since turned it into a tourist attraction.

He said, “My goal was to create awareness, put them in a more positive light and educate people about the important role they play in our ecosystem.”

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