A 37-second video shared by Paul Nelson on Twitter has gone viral. The video, shared on June 6, shows Nelson paragliding in an unknown location with a black vulture. The video currently has over 15.7 million views. According to his Twitter page, Paul Nelson is based in North Down in North Ireland, and describes himself as a humanist interested in politics, sport, and travel.
The video starts off by showing a vulture flying above a paraglider, swooping down to rest on it. Jones strokes the vulture while it calmly attempts to nibble on his shoe.
The tweet now has over 107,000 retweets and over 651,000 likes.
Twitter user Massimo (@Rainmaker1973) retweeted the video, explaining that parahawking was an activity that combined paragliding with falconry. People under the retweet debated whether the vulture was trained to do so, while another user claimed that he was simply “hopping a ride”.
However another Twitter user called Manuel MM (@nochillmanny) revealed that they had found Nelson’s Instagram, which contained several pictures of him with the bird, stating that it was his.
While the comments under Manuel’s tweet were mostly positive, saying that the fact “made it cooler”, the caption on Nelson’s tweet suggested that the vulture was a random bird he encountered.
Paragliding with pets is not uncommon, with several similar instances taking place globally. In late 2021, a video featuring adventure film director Shams and his dog Ouka displayed them paragliding over the Col du Granon in France. A harness was attached to Ouka which placed him below Shams.
In an Instagram video, he explained how the duo had prepared for the trip in one month. Ouka is said to enjoy participating in not only paragliding but other adventure sports as well.