Southern Illinois family held hostage by swarm of vultures - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southern Illinois family held hostage by swarm of vultures

A Southern Illinois family has been dealing with an infestation of vultures at their rural Buncombe home.

Rick Mize said he and his wife, step-daughter, and their dog enjoy living in the quiet Buncombe, Ill. But or the past month, Mize said he and his family have been wildly interrupted by dozens of vultures.

The birds are now more than a nuisance. The birds wake the family at all hours of the night as the birds walk across the roof of the family's home, they've scratched the hood and damaged the rubber molding of Mize's 2015 Chevrolet Silverado, and the birds stain the entire area with their feces including a newly built deck that's yet to be painted.

Mize said he's not sure how much the damages will cost.

Standing more than two-feet-tall with an average wing span of five and a half feet, vultures have taken over the Mize family property.

Vultures are scavengers which means they rarely prey on living animals and typically search out dead animals.

Mize said the birds came around the same time a terrible stench filled the area near his home, but he's not been able to locate any dead animals on his property.

"Ok your cat died in your house and you found it five days later after being on vacation," Mize said to describe the smell surrounding his home. "And you walk into your house. That's the stench, it's just fowl, death."

Mize said he thinks there is a large dead animal near his property. He's since contacted the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to report the bird problem.

"Even the pictures doesn't do it justice when you watch out and you see it," Mize said. "They don't land on my property to eat. They land on my property to rest and to scope."

Mize said IDNR officials came to the home and said they may have found the root of the problem on a nearby property.

Mize said IDNR officials are expected to continue investigating the area for an official source that's attracting the birds.

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