A wealthy family from New York, owning a $700.000 property in West Palm Beach, were shocked to discover, upon their arrival, that their yard had been taken over by a group of vultures. The news is travelling the world, and the British media shared the story.
According to Metro, the family told a local newspaper that the smell was intense and disgusting and that the birds were vomiting and defecating everywhere. The swimming pool, the barbecue, the garden – everything was “gross,” in their words.
‘Hunger games’ scenario next door
A neighbour also complained of the same problem. Apparently, a third person living in the area (and not interviewed by the local media) had been putting large amounts of dog food outside, which attracted the birds to the vicinity. In this person’s case, it was horrendous: a group of around 20 vultures forced entry into her pool ground (through a screen) and then could not get out. The situation became horrifying, as the starving birds started attacking each other with a large amount of violence.
For those who think a few shots of a gun would solve the problem, think again. Regardless of what the family might think about that solution, the law isn’t on their side. Vultures are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty Act of 1918. In both houses (the resident and the family of the holiday home), people tried to scare the birds, but nothing was working after several days.
Metro added an explanation given by an expert of the Ohio State University. Vultures are disgusted by the sight of one of their own being dead. This reaction may be odd, given that they are scavengers, but at the same time, it makes sense. The expert says the owners should get a license to kill one animal, and then exhibit him for the others to see, which would scare them away.
This could be a solution for the holiday home. However, for the resident neighbor, Metro did not explain how this would solve the problem of the birds being trapped in the garden.
The alternative solution, which is not constructive from an environmental point of view, would be to wait until all the birds would kill each other or starve to death.
No mention was made of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection on this Metro article.