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Panic As 10,000 Hungry Vultures Go Searching For Fresh Meat
The Times Online (U.K.) ^ | August 6, 2007 | By Adam Sage in Paris

Posted on 08/06/2007 8:23:55 PM PDT by JACKRUSSELL

When a French pensioner died of a brain haemorrhage during a walk in the Pyrenees this summer, vultures started circling low over the body.

“His three friends were really frightened,” said a local resident. “They were convinced the vultures were going to attack. They shouted and waved their arms and, in the end, they managed to scare the birds away. But they were in a complete panic.”

There have been reports from across the French Pyrenees this year of a radical change in the way the region’s vultures behave. A programme to incinerate animal carcasses in Spain has deprived “les vautours” of food, causing them to become aggressive. Where once they scavenged, now they hunt, according to farmers.

Alain Larralde, a cattle breeder in Ilharre in the French Basque country, said that in May he saw dozens of birds circle and kill a cow. “There were so many of them that they covered the entire meadow,” he said. “Then I saw the cow slumped on the ground in the middle being devoured. It really hurt. You can’t image what it’s like to see an animal being eaten alive.”

So far this year officials have registered 42 demands for compensation from breeders who say their livestock has been attacked by vultures. There were 33 requests last year.

But ornithologists say it is collective hysteria. Denis Vincent, of the French Bird Protection League, said: “For the most part these stories don’t stand up. It’s impossible for vultures to fly off with animals bigger than them, as people have claimed, especially when those animals are alive.” He said that farmers were blaming vultures for killing sheep and cattle when, in fact, they were eating carcasses. Jean-Louis Venant, who collects birds of prey, added: “The habits of vultures haven’t changed for thousands of years.”

But vultures may never have been hungrier. A 2006 European Union directive forced Spain to ban the practice of leaving carcasses in open trenches. In upper Aragon, on the French border, they ate an estimated 8,000kg (17,600lb) of rotting meat every day. These carcasses are now burnt and Aragon’s 10,000 or so vultures must look elsewhere. In June, 200 were spotted in Belgium, where bird-lovers put 200kg of pork out for them “to build up their strength” for the journey back to Aragon.

In the French Pyrenees, the issue has become highly sensitive, with officials afraid that tourists will be driven away by what Le Nouvel Observateur magazine described as “the mutant vultures”. The birds have been a protected species since 1976. Now, amid claims that farmers are shooting at the birds, vets are to be paid to carry out an autopsy on all animals said to have been killed by vultures to separate fact from fiction.

Didier Herv, director of the Upper Barn Heritage Institute, said that panic was spreading. “A mother told me that a flock of vultures settled next to her by the village fountain when she was with her children,” he said.

Jean-Pierre Pommiès, a shepherd and mountain guide, reported an attack after taking tourists into the mountains. “The vultures were chasing one of my sheep and pecking its leg,” he said. “I chased them away but if I’d been five minutes later they would have cleaned up. They say the shepherds are inventing these stories, but this time there were 30 tourists who witnessed what happened.”

Birds of a Feather

— Griffon vultures breed across southern Europe, the Middle East and southern China. In winter they migrate to northeast Africa, the Arabian peninsula and north India

— They are up to 43 inches (110cm) long, with wingspans of up to 110 inches. They weigh up to 22lb (10kg) and can live for up to 40 years

— They are traditionally thought to survive exclusively on carrion

— A griffon vulture will spend about 8 out of 24 hours in the air, during which time it is likely to cover 200 to 300 miles (320 to 480km)


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: vultures

1 posted on 08/06/2007 8:23:58 PM PDT by JACKRUSSELL
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To: JACKRUSSELL

Is this another asinine situation created by kooks interested in “peserving” a species?


2 posted on 08/06/2007 8:28:35 PM PDT by BenLurkin
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To: JACKRUSSELL

They could make a movie about this....oh, wait.. already did.


3 posted on 08/06/2007 8:30:49 PM PDT by Mark (REMEMBER: Mean spirited, angry remarks against my postings won't feed even one hungry child.)
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To: JACKRUSSELL
Alain Larralde, a cattle breeder in Ilharre in the French Basque country, said that in May he saw dozens of birds circle and kill a cow. “There were so many of them that they covered the entire meadow,” he said. “Then I saw the cow slumped on the ground in the middle being devoured. It really hurt. You can’t image what it’s like to see an animal being eaten alive.”

Not that I'm an expert in vulture behavior, but I don't believe this. More likely the vultures converged on a nearly dead cow and began feeding while it could still move a bit. As I understand it, vultures aren't social animals that hunt as a group - they're solitary scavengers that converge on animal carcasses.
4 posted on 08/06/2007 8:31:44 PM PDT by AnotherUnixGeek
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To: JACKRUSSELL
Funeral Customs in Tibet

On arriving, people will burn bunches of cypress branches to notify the divine vultures. The rising smoke summons the vultures flocking there. Now the celestial burial master begins to cut apart the corpse. He will incise it from its back, take out the bowels, separate the muscle from the bones, and crush the skeleton with stone, then mix this with tsampa. Then the master will first feed the vultures with the bowels, then with the bones and at last with the meats. If the vultures eat all with nothing remaining, it means the dead had not committed any sin while living, and his soul will be guided to ‘heaver’. If white vultures eat first, it is regarded as the most auspicious sign; while if the vultures eat nothing or eat only a part, then the remains will be burned, and the ashes will be spread over. In this case, the family members should commission monks to chant scripture, and release the soul from purgatory. Afterwards, the deputies of the family will treat the master with meat and wine. Yet within certain period of time, the master is not allowed to visit the family of the dead to avoid taking the soul back his home.

http://www.tibet-tours.com/Article/ShowArticle.asp?ArticleID=1886

5 posted on 08/06/2007 8:33:23 PM PDT by Brad from Tennessee ("A politician can't give you anything he hasn't first stolen from you.")
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To: JACKRUSSELL
Prey switching is a common tactic used by species to survive.

Charles Pellgrino used a very interesting prey switching plot device in his book Dust.

The species : mites
The controlling species : insects (died out)
New target of trillions of mites : Humans

6 posted on 08/06/2007 8:36:38 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Killing all of your enemies without mercy is the only sure way of sleeping soundly at night.)
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To: JACKRUSSELL

“Ain’t ya gonna bury ‘em?”

“Buzzards gotta eat, same as the worms.”

—The Outlaw Josie Wales


7 posted on 08/06/2007 8:40:34 PM PDT by Hugin (Mecca delenda est.)
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To: JACKRUSSELL
"They are up to 43 inches (110cm) long, with wingspans of up to 110 inches. They weigh up to 22lb (10kg) and can live for up to 40 years"

Pretty good sized birds. I think I'd go with No. 4 shot.

8 posted on 08/06/2007 8:41:07 PM PDT by 2111USMC
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To: JACKRUSSELL

Send Michael Moore.


9 posted on 08/06/2007 8:43:23 PM PDT by RichInOC (Michael Moore wants your children. Regular is fine, but he really prefers Extra Crispy.)
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To: Mark

10 posted on 08/06/2007 8:46:58 PM PDT by Westlander (Unleash the Neutron Bomb)
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To: JACKRUSSELL
Panic As 10,000 Hungry Vultures Go Searching For Fresh Meat

Not another White House Presser??

11 posted on 08/06/2007 8:48:41 PM PDT by Old Sarge (This tagline in memory of FReeper 68-69TonkinGulfYachtClub)
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To: JACKRUSSELL

>>>>Panic As 10,000 Hungry Vultures Go Searching For Fresh Meat

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Washington....

Oh sorry, it was just a thought :P


12 posted on 08/06/2007 8:49:41 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

>>>>As I understand it, vultures aren’t social animals that hunt as a group - they’re solitary scavengers that converge on animal carcasses.

bump


13 posted on 08/06/2007 8:50:39 PM PDT by Calpernia (Breederville.com)
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To: JACKRUSSELL
"A 2006 European Union directive forced Spain to ban..."

Interdependence is akin to scavenging vultures.

14 posted on 08/06/2007 8:51:38 PM PDT by endthematrix (He was shouting 'Allah!' but I didn't hear that. It just sounded like a lot of crap to me.)
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To: All

15 posted on 08/06/2007 8:54:16 PM PDT by dighton
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To: 2111USMC
Pretty good sized birds. I think I'd go with No. 4 shot.

Preferably in a 10 gauge or, if you've got one in the back of the safe, a punt gun.

16 posted on 08/06/2007 8:56:25 PM PDT by kitchen (Hey, Pericles. What are the three things a ruler must know?)
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To: JACKRUSSELL

The French. Taste like chicken.


17 posted on 08/06/2007 9:20:49 PM PDT by Mad_Tom_Rackham (Elections have consequences.)
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To: JACKRUSSELL
“They are up to 43 inches (110cm) long, with wingspans of up to 110 inches. They weigh up to 22lb (10kg) and can live for up to 40 years”

Griffin vultures are pretty impressive birds in flight. Occupying a thermal with one is awesome. Never felt much in danger, though. Rather, perhaps, just the vulture’s mirth in my attempts to keep up with him.

18 posted on 08/06/2007 9:32:33 PM PDT by wgflyer (Liberalism is to society what HIV is to the immune system.)
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To: JACKRUSSELL

When I read that, it sounded like a Hillary fundraiser.


19 posted on 08/06/2007 9:35:16 PM PDT by Cobra64 (www.BulletBras.net)
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To: JACKRUSSELL

Hey, We may have a solution. It wasn’t that long ago that I posted an article about the dreath of vultures in India to eat the dead of a certain sect there. There could be an import/export business calling here.


20 posted on 08/06/2007 9:37:37 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

The vultures I’ve seen hang together. Not only do they fly together they feed together.


21 posted on 08/06/2007 9:38:18 PM PDT by DB
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To: JACKRUSSELL
Solution?

India's Vultures Fall Prey to a Drug in the Cattle They Feed On

22 posted on 08/06/2007 9:41:43 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: Mark; JACKRUSSELL

“It’s impossible for vultures to fly off with animals bigger than them, as people have claimed, especially when those animals are alive.”

What about the giant tsetse flies (”José Grecos de Muertos” a.k.a. the Flamenco Dancers of Death) which carried away the peasant babies in “their beaks” (”The In-laws”).

Furthermore, they were protected “under the provisions of the Guacamole Act...”

SURELY, these vultures are protected as well....


23 posted on 08/06/2007 10:04:45 PM PDT by Inclines to the Right
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To: Westlander

Mrs. Bundy, elderly ornithologist: I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn’t stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?


24 posted on 08/06/2007 10:27:23 PM PDT by AngelesCrestHighway
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To: JACKRUSSELL

25 posted on 08/06/2007 11:20:24 PM PDT by malamute
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To: JACKRUSSELL
Eurasian Griffon Vulture

26 posted on 08/07/2007 1:02:32 AM PDT by Bon mots
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To: BenLurkin

“Panic As 10,000 Hungry Vultures Go Searching For Fresh Meat”

Lawyers’ convention?


27 posted on 08/07/2007 1:02:50 AM PDT by Jack Hammer
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To: AnotherUnixGeek

Black vultures will kill:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Black_Vulture

I much prefer the local turkey buzzards.
[who usually skedaddle when the BVs come back in the spring]


28 posted on 08/07/2007 3:38:43 AM PDT by Salamander (And don't forget my Dog; fixed and consequent.......)
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Comment #29 Removed by Moderator

To: JACKRUSSELL

sooner or later you’d think the vultures would get the idea and cross spain off of their maps


30 posted on 08/07/2007 3:58:26 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck
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To: JACKRUSSELL

This story is actually about birds. I thought it was going to be about Democrats.


31 posted on 08/07/2007 4:17:01 AM PDT by BuffaloJack
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To: JACKRUSSELL
"You can’t image what it’s like to see an animal being eaten alive.”


32 posted on 08/07/2007 4:21:26 AM PDT by Yehuda ("Land of the free, THANKS TO THE BRAVE!" (Choke on it, pinkos!))
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To: JACKRUSSELL

So.. why don’t they just quit burning carcasses or shoot the darned vultures?


33 posted on 08/07/2007 7:09:19 PM PDT by Terriergal ("I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace," Shakespeare)
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To: dighton

That puts in the mood for a little R6 Vegas.


34 posted on 08/07/2007 7:17:44 PM PDT by Terriergal ("I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace," Shakespeare)
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To: JMack

Thanks for the quotes which just makes me want to see the movie again. We say “Serpentine, Shelly!” around this household. Certain lines are classics. My kids particularly liked, “I have flames on my car!”


35 posted on 08/09/2007 11:43:09 PM PDT by Inclines to the Right
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