White-backed Vulture - Gyps Africanus
Vultures patrol protection zones providing aerial recon and basic first aid capabilities. Their main job is to locate recently poached animals and mark them for investigation. If anti-poaching units are in the area the Vulture can land near the corpse of the animal and protect the body from consumption by other animals. Compartments in the wings and the chest area house basic first aid supplies to aid in field operations. These include bandages, tourniquets, antivenom, antiseptics, resuscitators, field rations, and water among other things. Another function is to transport DNA samples of poached animals quickly and efficiently for analysis to help keep records up to date about the remaining animal populations.Vultures also serve as locators for tagged ivory and rhino horn. By locating signals from planted GPS units Vultures can help anti-poaching units and law enforcement locate the contraband and hopefully the poachers as well.
Overall the Vulture units serve as aerial watchdogs as well as CSI. Though they are non-combatant's in field operations their auxiliary functions aid greatly in field operations.
Kinda sucks that the first real Rhino I've painted is also dead. Not fun at all looking up reference for poached Rhinos.
I'm not done with Big Five. There will be more! Stay tuned for more progress on other designs and illustrations.