Hundreds of vultures take up residence in Gilmer

Hundreds of vultures take up residence in Gilmer

GILMER, Texas (KLTV) - Some think they are a majestic sight soaring in the East Texas skies, but people don’t like them hanging out on their roofs, or chewing up their cars.

But black Vultures, and several hundred of them, have made the 700 block of Highway 271 in Gilmer their home.

Joshua Furniss is a dentist in Gilmer and he doesn’t really like black vultures sitting on the roof of his business.

“We’ve just had a lot of these vultures hanging out in the last few weeks and it’s starting to become a pretty big problem,” Furniss said.

The obvious problem is the mess they leave behind, but a surprising one happened:

“Last Saturday I was parked here for about an hour, and they kind of attacked my truck. They started to eat away at the rubber lining around the sunroof. They just pecked it and ate it away,” Furniss revealed.

There were scratches too. Furniss thinks it’s may be a couple thousand dollars in damage.

Gilmer City Manager Greg Hutson is well aware of the problem, and is asking for federal help to get the vultures to buzz off.

“They’re migratory and they move from place to place. If we scare them off they’re going to go somewhere else. Hopefully out of the city,” Hutson said.

The U.S.D.A. Wildlife Service will do the scaring. In a meeting with a representative, Hutson was told they will use fireworks for:

“A week to two weeks; it just depends. Pyrotechnics might be enough where they won’t come back. If it’s not there are other measures we’ll take but this is just a first step right now,” Hutson stated.

Hutson says the vultures rest on trees and buildings near a restaurant and a bank on Highway 271 and customers are a little nervous.

“It’s become a concern with our residents her and so now we’re going to address it,” Hutson said.

I gave a vulture on the ground near Furniss Family Dentistry a loud clap as a little experiment.

“They haven’t started affecting my employee’s cars yet or my patient’s cars, thankfully. But yeah, they’re getting a little bit more brave,” Furniss added.

And, after thinking about the noise the vulture flew off.

But his nearby buddies didn’t.

The Gilmer City Council met Tuesday night and voted to sign an agreement for federal aid to try to scare away the birds. They will begin the process next week.

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