Letter to the Editor — Vultures are just temporary visitors here

Dear Editor,

Please don’t kill vultures. Not only is it illegal, but it’s cruel and unnecessary.

Shooting vultures and hanging vulture effigies may temporarily deter them, but it’s barbaric and it sends the wrong message, especially to children, about how to live with and among native wildlife.

Auditory disruptions, like the ones our Town Manager does, are better. Also remember, however, that this is the time of year that vultures migrate and fly through Virginia – so vulture roosts are temporary.

Don’t be one of those unimaginative people who finds vultures “scary” or “creepy.”

• Vultures do not kill animals.

• Vultures are scavengers. They eat only dead or mostly dead animals…and that’s a good thing. They can’t kill prey (they don’t have sharp talons to do so – which also means they can’t pick up and carry away your pets, another strange myth).

• They are good for our environment because they clean up roadsides, forests and fields by eating dead animals. Our earth would be a totally different place if they didn’t.

• Guess what else? The stomach acids of turkey vultures are so strong they can kill rabies, anthrax and other serious diseases.

• On a fun note, vultures are one of the most sociable birds of prey. They hang out with their friends and families (sometimes generations of them!) and they mate for life.

• Many of the 14 species of vultures are extinct, so killing vultures is really, really bad.

Don’t hate vultures. Respect them for being an important part of our ecosystem.

L. Mabbitt

Victoria