Farmer: Black vultures eating Southern Indiana cattle alive

Black vultures eating Southern Indiana cattle alive

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. (WAVE) - What one Jeffersonville family is going through sounds like the start of a horror movie, but it might just be nature at its cruelest.

Our news-gathering partners the News and Tribune broke the strange story Tuesday that Black Vultures were becoming a living nightmare for a group of farmers.

Dozens of Black Vultures at one Jeffersonville Farm are eating live stock alive.
Dozens of Black Vultures at one Jeffersonville Farm are eating live stock alive. (Source: Karen Foster)

Karen Foster, who operates the Kenmar Angus Farm, said the birds are getting increasingly aggressive.

She said her farm doesn't have any dead animals on it, but workers do occasionally see the vultures during calving season.

This year the situation is different though. Foster said babies have been born, but up to 100 Black Vultures have stuck around to eat them alive.

Kenmar Angus Farm has flooded recently, which caused the birds to leave.

"Vultures will be on that," Foster said, describing electrical lines where the birds typically perch themselves. "Each line will be lined up, just totally across that."

Pictures she's taken show the large vultures fearlessly sitting on the cattle.

"The vulture was sitting on it, pecking at its skin making sores," Foster said.

To many, they're welcomed as scavengers, a sign that death has already happened, but to Foster, they've become predators, signaling its on the way.

"With the vultures actually pecking at the babies," Foster said regarding animals that were attacked during birth.

Foster said five calves have been killed.

Karen Foster, who operates the Kenmar Angus Farm, said the Black Vultures are getting increasingly aggressive
Karen Foster, who operates the Kenmar Angus Farm, said the Black Vultures are getting increasingly aggressive (Source: Karen Foster)

She said, at first, her family would clap and honk at them to scare them off, but they are no longer phased.

She said they're a protected species. So, she can't kill them without a permit, but has tried to shoot a gun near them to scare them off.

“That was working for a while, but, after a while, they’re not even afraid of a rifle noise,” Foster said.

DNR experts said Black Vultures are aggressive because they lack a strong sense of smell, and often arrive late to scavenge typically dead animals.

So, it's more likely they have to fight for their food.

They told the News and Tribune farmers have seen what Foster is experiencing in other Southern states.

Nonetheless, Foster said it is a scary experience.

“We’re very afraid,” Foster said. “We’ve got a puppy on the farm and they were literally trying to attack the puppy the other day. So, you know, are they even going to get aggressive enough to attack people?”

Foster said she’s applied for local, state and federal permits to kill the birds.

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