Readers of this blog may recall my recent article about a resident of the Ibis Golf and Country Club community in Palm Beach County who was creating an incredibly dangerous and destructive situation by feeding extraordinary amounts of food to vultures, alligators and other wildlife behind her home. On Wednesday, Jan. 15, the homeowner agreed to pay $53,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by her community’s association.
In addition to the payment for the association’s fees and fines that is due by Feb. 14, Irma Acosta Arya was also permanently enjoined from any further feedings, meaning the court has issued an injunction against her prohibiting any future feedings under severe criminal and civil penalties.
According to a follow-up report on the case in the Palm Beach Post, the payment and injunction represent a great relief to the residents of the gated golf community, which borders a nature preserve in western Palm Beach County.
The suit alleged that Acosta Arya’s constant feedings of large quantities of food since 2016 attracted highly destructive flocks of vultures, which would vomit and defecate all over the community and neighboring properties (see video below from WPBF Channel 25 News), along with raccoons, alligators and a bobcat. The judge initially issued a temporary injunction to prevent any further feedings, and he found Acosta Arya in contempt of court in December for violating the injunction after the association presented photos allegedly showing her feeding animals behind her house in recent months.
The newspaper’s reports also state that her neighbors have seen her feeding finger sandwiches and raw chicken to the wildlife. They also say they have found many large empty bags of dog food in a recycling bin near her house, but she does not have a dog.
Last year, the feedings led to huge flocks of hundreds of large black vultures, which would break in to neighbors’ screened pool enclosures and destroy their patio furniture and barbeque grills. The feces and vomit from the vultures also created an unbearable stench.
The association for this community should be commended for involving law enforcement early in the process by alerting the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, which issued fines against Acosta Arya and setup night-vision cameras to capture images of her nocturnal feedings of an alligator last year. The association also sought and secured an injunction.
Acosta Arya’s violation of the court’s temporary injunction was surely instrumental in enabling the association to secure the quick settlement and permanent injunction. Hopefully, by moving quickly on both the law enforcement and civil fronts, the community’s residents will now rest easy without fear of any further wildlife feedings by their neighbor.
Click here to read the Palm Beach Post article on the settlement in the newspaper’s website.
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