Recent reports in the Palm Beach Post and on WPBF 25 News (see video below) chronicled the devastating damage that is being caused to homes in the Ibis Golf and Country Club community in West Palm Beach by hundreds of black vultures. The large birds are being attracted by a homeowner who is feeding the wildlife with massive amounts of food.
The vultures fly in for their regular feedings and then stay to roost on and around the surrounding houses. Hundreds of the birds have torn apart screened enclosures and made themselves at home in neighboring pools and patios, and they have even dented residents’ vehicles with their beaks.
“The vultures just vomit everywhere,” says a homeowner in the newspaper’s article. “Defecating and vomiting. It’s just gross.”
Another homeowner who lives next door to the lady who feeds the birds says that after the vultures tore into her pool enclosure, they became trapped and began attacking each other. “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.”
The homeowners say that the neighbor feeding the wildlife puts out four 20-pound bags of dog food a couple of times a week in addition to occasional roasted chickens and trays of sandwiches.
According to the president of the Ibis Property Owners Association, the POA and Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission have warned the homeowner to stop. In fact, Fish and Wildlife officers pulled an adult alligator out of the area as a result of her feedings, but she still has not stopped.
“We called Fish and Wildlife in to give the lady a warning. We also issued a violation notice. She has to appear in front of our Rules and Compliance Committee and will get a fine,” said the association president in the newspaper article. He also notes that she is to receive a cease and desist order from the association’s attorney, and they are also pursuing a citation from the Fish and Wildlife Commission.
The association for the community did the right thing by contacting and involving law enforcement with the Fish and Wildlife Commission officers. In cases such as this with recalcitrant homeowners who create an unbearable nuisance for their neighbors, associations need to look to both their own enforcement mechanisms as well as law enforcement, as appropriate, in order to remedy the situation as quickly as possible. They also need to move quickly with the filing of a lawsuit seeking damages as well as emergency injunctive relief to force owners to cease their offending activities.
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