News 12 at 11 o'clock / Thursday, Aug. 1, 2013
COLUMBIA COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Vandals are causing a lot of property damage out at Wildwood Park in Columbia County, and it's not just one or two. Hundreds of them are responsible for hundreds of dollars worth of damage.
"This part right there was actually on the ground," said Kenny Newborn as he points to the damage on his truck. "This is amazing. I've not seen this one before in my life."
His new truck has been vandalized, leaving more than $900 worth of damage -- but not by criminals.
"I went up to the main office and reported the incident to them and they stopped me and said, 'Nobody vandalized your vehicle; it was the birds,'" Newborn said.
Yep, that's right. Birds. Vultures, to be exact.
"You know, you worry about criminals and all kinds of stuff, but you never thought that birds would be on the attack," Newborn said.
As he was out fishing at Wildwood Park, the hungry birds made his pickup truck their next meal.
"They just decided to have mine for lunch, along with several other guys'," he said.
Multiple reports came into Columbia County about the animals.
"Maybe the vultures felt that that's a nice little home for them near the boat ramp, but we are taking measures to get rid of them as we speak," said Barry Smith with Columbia County Community and Leisure Services.
Columbia County says there are about 150 to 200 vultures in the trees around the Wildwood Park boat ramp, so for now, they've closed off that area of the parking lot and hired a trapping service to get rid of them.
Over the next couple weeks, they say you could expect to hear shotgun noises or air horns in the early morning and afternoon to chase the birds away.
"He's gonna be putting up some decoys, like a statue of a man with a gun, or Mylar balloons flying," Smith said.
They say not to worry because the animals aren't dangerous to humans, but along with a steady diet of roadkill, they're developing an expensive taste for trucks.
"I guess it is tasty because they chowed down on it pretty good," Newborn said.
Columbia County is working as quickly as possible to get rid of the birds, but they say it could take two to three weeks.
And in case you're wondering, vultures are an endangered species, so you can't shoot them, you have to relocate them.