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

This is the incredible moment a trained vulture flew alongside a paraglider and even sat on his lap while he was 100ft in the air.

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

The trained vulture, named Urú, is seen landing on Ricardo’s arm and legs during the flight, with the Brazilian reaching out to stroke 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 next to paragliders to give them a better flying experience in what is known as ‘parahawking’.

The trained vulture, named Urú, is seen landing on Ricardo’s arm and legs during the flight,

Ricardo is seen reaching out to stroke the bird while paragliding 100ft in the air

Ricardo is seen reaching out to stroke the bird while paragliding 100ft in the air

The trained vulture flew alongside the paraglider and even sat on his lap while he was 100ft in the air

The trained vulture flew alongside the paraglider and even sat on his lap while he was 100ft in the air

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

Video shows Ricardo Guimarães Cunha, 30, paragliding in the mountainous region of Pacatuba, northeast Brazil, while 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 whilst mid-air. 

Ricardo, a scuba diving instructor from Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, recorded the entire interaction on his GoPro.

The videos of their joint flights have made Ricardo a viral sensation – his clips on Instagram have now amassed over 1 million views.

Ricardo said: ‘Flying gives you a huge feeling of freedom. It’s amazing but with company, it’s even better!

‘It was a crazy flight – the conditions were crazy, even more so with a bird landing on me all the time!

‘He is incredibly smart and joined me to have fun.’

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

The vulture was rescued at a young age by Ricardo’s friend and environmentalist Israel Mendes and has since been trained to fly next to 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 whilst mid-air

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

Ricardo, a scuba diving instructor from Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, recorded the entire interaction on his GoPro

Ricardo, a scuba diving instructor from Ribeirão Preto, Brazil, recorded the entire interaction on his GoPro

Ricardo is pictured alongside the trained vulture before he went paragliding

Ricardo is pictured alongside the trained vulture before he went paragliding 

In 2020, video footage taken over Algodonales, in Andalucia, 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’, which sees trained birds guiding him to thermal columns.

The columns of warm air provide a lift which allows Scott to make his aerial trips longer while also making the experience more birdlike by mimicking their flight patterns.

A huge bird of prey swooped in to join a pair of paragliders as they soared through the skies above Algodonales, in Andalucia

A huge bird of prey swooped in to join a pair of paragliders as they soared through the skies above Algodonales, in Andalucia

The birds are sporadically rewarded with pieces of meat held by Scott or the tandem companion. 

Scott, who has been training birds since the age of ten, told Storyful that he pioneered parahawking to raise awareness for birds of prey across Asia and Europe – and has since turned it into a tourist attraction.

He said: ‘My aim was to create awareness, to portray them in a more positive light and educate people about the important role they play in our ecosystem.’  

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk