“Adopt” Vinnie the Black Vulture

One fine winter day in Louisiana, Baby Vinnie was hanging out in his nest, which, like other vulture nests, happens to be on the ground. A nice human wandered along and stumbled across Vinnie and his brother huddled on the ground. Thinking they had been abandoned, the human attempted to “save” the baby vultures and took Vinnie and his sibling home to raise them. Everything was all fine and dandy until Vinnie and his sibling grew up into big, strapping vultures. As youngsters tend to do, Vinnie and his sibling started begging for food, whom they now viewed as their parent. Just like a dog! When the human got tired of the begging, he tried to release Vinnie out into the wild though, but it didn’t work. Why would Vinnie the Vulture leave a nice warm house where he got a lot of free food? He was raised by a human so Vinnie thought he was human, too. This created a problem because Vinnie could never survive out in the wild by himself; he was never taught how to soar and hunt for food, for example, as other vultures were taught. Unfortunately, the well-meaning human who “rescued” Vinnie actually did him a great disservice since the vulture will never be able to fend for himself in the wild. After being turned over to a rehabilitation center in Lafayette, Louisiana, Vinnie was deemed non-releasable because of his unnatural association with humans. His permanent injury causes him to be known as a “human imprint.” He has lived at Callaway Gardens since 2004. With the adoption of the Carnivore Caregiver level or above, you will receive a stuffed animal Vinnie look-alike.

By adopting Vinnie, you are are helping feed, house, and provide medical care for these resident raptors. An adoption can be made in honor of a person, or event, or in memory of someone. See our adoption levels below:


Adoption Levels

Adopt Today

Explore All of Callaway

Beach & Water Sports

Swimming, water skiing, wakeboarding, and tubing on Robin Lake

Learn more

TreeTop Adventure

Climb and zip through the trees on this fun forest course

Learn more

Butterfly Center

Meet over 1,000 colorful butterflies face-to-face

Learn more

Birds of Prey Shows

Discover the strength, speed, and beauty of these magnificent creatures

Learn more

Hiking & Biking Trails

Explore Callaway’s 2,500 acres by foot or by bicycle

Learn more

The Gardens

Drink in the beauty of azaleas, hydrangeas, and other woodland wonders

Learn more

Fantasy In Lights

One of National Geographic’s Top 10 Holiday Light Displays

Learn more

Summer Family Adventure

An authentic Georgia outdoor family getaway like no other

Learn more


Enjoy mouthwatering, chef-prepared cuisine at an array of restaurants

Learn more

Balloon Festival

Watch beautiful balloons aglow at this annual event

Learn more

Symphony on the Sand

A night beneath the stars with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra

Learn more

Masters Water Ski & Wakeboard

Tournament for the greatest athletes in competitive watersports

Learn more


Some of the best lake fishing in the southeastern United States

Learn more