Florida vacation home overrun by vomiting, pooping vultures
It's not quite the tranquil vacation getaway this family had in mind.
A New York couple's luxurious vacation house in Florida has been taken over by dozens of vultures, and the birds are vomiting and defecating everywhere.
Siobhan Casimano and her partner purchased the three-bedroom, $702,000 home at Ibis Golf and Country Club in April. However, four months later, the two, who has a 2-year-old daughter, claim they are no longer able to visit because a neighbor is feeding the wildlife.
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Casimano, who described the smell from the birds as “like a thousand rotting corpses,” said she fears for her daughter's safety and has guests park far away if they do visit to avoid the vultures pecking at the cars.
Though the Casimanos were not aware of the bird problem when they purchased the home, nearby resident Cheryl Katz says she’s been dealing with it for months.
"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."
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Katz said an elderly woman is said to be feeding the vultures. Katz claims she puts out four 20-pound bags of dog food a couple of times a week, The Palm Beach Post reported.
“A feeding event is nauseating. And when the birds are done they sit on my roof, on my trees. My pool guy’s afraid to come here,” she told the paper.
Katz, who has chronic lymphocytic leukemia, said she has to be careful when going outside; she is vulnerable to infections.
“These birds bring a lot of bacteria, so I could not go outside,” she said. “I had to have someone power-wash twice before I could go out there.”
Katz wanted to sell her house, she told the newspaper, but a lawyer said she would have to disclose the wildlife problem, so she dropped the idea.
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Neighborhood association president Gordon Holness said officials are 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 officials have contacted the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to issue a warning, but so far they've been ignored by the neighbor.
“We called Fish and Wildlife in to give the lady a warning. We also issued a violation notice,” he said to The Palm Beach Post, noting the big birds do a lot of damage to the residents’ screens.
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.
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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."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.