Behold the Palm Beach vacation home that was recently purchased for $702,000, and behold the great many winged beasts who have shat and barfed their way to becoming the home’s true lords and masters:
What we have here, via the Palm Beach Post, is a story about the eternal conflict between humankind and nature. The particulars of the story are this: The Casimano family paid a pretty penny for a vacation home, only to be chased out of it by hundreds of turkey vultures who insist on making the property their own domain. Even worse than having to deal with the presence of the birds is that the Casimanos have had to watch their property be drowned in puke and doo-doo:
The problem: Dozens, if not hundreds, of black vultures have taken over the yard and others, torn apart screened enclosures and made pools, patios and barbecues their own. The Casimanos, when in town, have to garage their car or the birds encircle it and dent it with their beaks, she said.
The birds go for regular feedings in the neighbor’s yard, then roost on and around surrounding houses, Casimano said.
“The vultures just vomit everywhere,” she said. “Defecating and vomiting. It’s just gross. We can’t even go back down to the house.”
The Post also spoke to one of the Casimanos’ neighbors, who is also struggling to keep the vultures from overrunning her home. She’s seen things far worse than some piles of shit:
In May, 20 vultures tore into Katz’ pool enclosure, couldn’t figure out how to get out and attacked each other in a panicked frenzy.
“Imagine 20 large 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.”
Both residents blame the turkey vulture invasion on their elderly neighbor, who they claim dumps hundreds of pounds of dog food in her yard every week for the vultures and other wildlife to feed on.
Is there any hope that this war against the vicious birds and their aged human ally can be won? According to a local professor, the answer to that question depends on what costs are willing to be paid:
His advice: Get a federal permit to kill one of the vultures, then hang it in a tree or other spot where other vultures can see it for miles around. Or, have a taxidermist stuff one, and that will last and keep them away for years, he said.
“A black-headed vulture will not go within eyesight of its own dead, which is bizarre. They eat roadkill but if they see their own, they will not go near it,” Smith said.
What would you do to protect what’s yours? Would you look into the black eyes of your enemy and pay the blood price?