I encountered a flock of vultures at the Smithsonian Zoo and they were ugly and beautiful at the same time. One of them was picking at a cow skull. It is one thing to see vultures feed on dead flesh in documentaries and films, but it was something else to see it up close and personal. I can still hear the slimy ripping noises of the vulture shredding the skill’s jaw muscles. This bird gave me chills!