This large, odd-looking stork has a massive dagger-like bill and naked pink head and neck with an inflatable pouch of loose skin.
The Marabou soars effortlessly at great heights, over wetlands or dry bush, where it lives and searches for its food. It is considered ‘the cleaner’ of the savannah, as it opportunistically scavenges scraps left behind at the kills of major predators. Picking carcasses clean in this way helps prevent the spread of diseases.
Marabous are of little concern to conservationists because of their large populations. However, at present they are victims of habitat loss and hunting, as well as trade in the traditional medicine markets of Nigeria.
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