Vultures with GoPros hunt down illegal dumpers in Peru

PERU (REUTERS) - Littered with numerous illegal dumps, Lima is no stranger to rivers clogged with sewage and overflowing trash.

But there's hope for locals in Peru's capital city looking for a cleaner future. Vultures flying overhead are now policing those dumping illegally down below.

The Vultures Detect programme has taken flight, and trainer Alfredo Correa says there are 10 GoPro-equipped birds currently flying with video and GPS capabilities.

He says locals have taken the large scavenger birds for granted, but that the initiative - a joint-venture between USAID and Peru's Environment Ministry - may change their perception.

"Generally the majority of people have a negative view of the vulture, which is associated many times with death and many negative things. They don't realise that vultures play a very important role in nature, especially in Lima as they're helping a lot to control a large quantity of the rubbish we're dumping," said Mr Correa.

Dreaded by locals they may be, the programme hopes to portray the birds as heroes, as they swoop in to identify those polluting - and help clean up the city.