Posted: 8:00 a.m. Tuesday, May 7, 2013
By Rick Couri
The women didn’t survive a 980 foot fall from a cliff and her body was out of reach of recovery workers for nearly an hour.
That was long enough for the scavengers to devour the body and leave little for the team that eventually reached the spot.
The accident happened in mid April in the French Pyranees but the reports are just now being released.
One of the rescuers, Major Didier Pericou told the Times of London “there were only bones, clothes and shoes left on the ground, they took 45 to 50 minutes to eat the body."
Reports say farmers in the area have been asking for permission to shoot the birds for quite a while but they are a protected species.
Area residents say the large numbers of vultures have begun to threaten their livestock after a European law requiring animal carcasses to be burned was enacted.
That took the vultures food source and left them looking for other options.
One farmer even claims to have seen vultures carry off live animals.
That seems to be backed up by a 2011 report published in the science journal Nature.
That work says the griffon vulture was becoming a predator instead of a scavenger with 1,165 reports of the bird of prey killing domestic livestock from 2006-2010.