Vultures have a reputation as serious scavengers: You don’t want to know what they’ll do with a delicious cow carcass. But it turns out that you can’t leave these guys alone with your fancy car, either, because they will eat it, and if they don’t eat it, they will at the very least poop all over it. At least, the ones living in the Everglades will. The Miami Herald reports:
Nothing has curbed the curious appetite that migrating vultures have developed for windshield wipers, sunroof seals and other rubber and vinyl vehicle parts. So this winter, the park is shifting to purely defensive tactics against the big birds, expanding a program that provides visitors at the most trouble-prone sites loaner “anti-vulture kits” consisting of blue plastic tarps and bungee cords.
Apparently, vultures also have been known to eat roof shingles and pool screens, and scientists don’t really know why they do it. They’re not hungry — most of the time they don’t really even eat the car parts they’ve savaged, just tear them up with their claws for no obvious reason. The going theory is just that they’re bored. Which, fair enough. If your best available entertainment were eating raw dead cows, you’d be bored too. There’s only one thing to do:
Everglades Park offers ‘anti-vulture kits’ to protect visitor cars, Miami Herald.
Get Grist in your inbox