WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A New York couple’s luxurious vacation house in Florida has been taken over by dozens of black vultures that are vomiting and defecating everywhere.
The Palm Beach Post reports the Casimano family can’t even visit the $702,000 home they purchased earlier this year in the Ibis Golf and Country Club.
Siobhan Casimano described the smell as “like a thousand rotting corpses.” The vultures have destroyed screen enclosures, and have overtaken the pool and barbeque. The few times the family has visited, they’ve had to park their car in the garage or the birds peck at them with their beaks.
A neighbor, Cheryl Katz, tells the Post she’s got it even worse because she lives next door to a person who is feeding the vultures and other wildlife. In May, she said vultures tore through her pool enclosure and couldn’t figure out how to get out.
“Imagine 20 vultures trapped, biting each other — and they can bite through bones,” she said. “They would bang against my windows running away from a bird that was attacking them. Blood was everywhere. It was a vile, vicious, traumatic event. And it was Memorial Day, so no company I called would come out to help me.”
Finally, three police officers arrived. They removed the screens and shooed away the vultures.
Since she has chronic lymphocytic leukemia, which leaves her vulnerable to infections, she’s had to be extra careful going outside, even having someone power wash the patio twice.
The homeowners blame Katz’ neighbor, who they claim is excessively feeding wildlife.
Katz said she has seen the neighbor give bags of dog food and even a roasted chicken to the vultures.
Neighborhood association president Gordon Holness said they’ve warned the woman but they’re limited in what they can do because the vultures, as migratory birds, are protected by federal law.
Holness said vultures were not a problem in the neighborhood before this spring. He said they’ve contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to issue a warning, but so far they’ve been ignored by the neighbor.
Katz said she spoke to someone at the U.S. Wildlife Service and learned it is hard to get a permit to kill a black vulture.
People have suggested scaring them with fireworks or balloons, but that doesn’t work for long.
Katz even tried putting out four fake owls that have moving heads and blinking lights. “The vultures chewed the owls apart,” she said. “They ripped the heads off.”