The vampiric bird is a close companion to witches in Southern Africa. When a witch sends his or her impundulu after a victim, the result is illness or bad luck. The immortal bird outlives its masters and is passed from generation to generation. Rendered impundulu fat is a key ingredient in a spell to capture thieves.
The Impundulu is also a shape shifter. It can transform into a handsome young man and seduce woman who may be keeping secrets from the birds owner. With its handy talents and undying loyalty the impundulu seems as though it would make and excellent pet.