Yes, the vultures will attack your car in the Everglades

vultures everglades warning

I was a little skeptical of the warnings I had heard from the park rangers. Come on… the vultures will actually attack your car in the Everglades? I’m not sure about that.

Then I made it to the Royal Palm Visitor Center and the beginning of the Anhinga Trail, the best place to see alligators in the Everglades. And there they were… a few vultures doing their best to snack on the rubber in windshield wipers and on roofs.

vultures wipers

As someone who was driving a rental car, this worried me a little. Sure, I had the insurance, but you can never figure out exactly which kinds of damage are actually covered in those rental car agreements.

On the other hand, unless I wanted to pass up the chance to see alligators, I had to leave the car and take my chances. I discovered that the vultures were staying toward the far end of the lot, where foot traffic is at a minimum. That’s your tip: Park near the trailhead as close as possible, next to the other cars. Don’t park at the lonely far end of the lot.

When I returned after an hour, my car was fine. Others were not so lucky. The vultures were ripping up the windshield wipers and biting the rubber on the roof of one vehicle.

vultures roof

I didn’t see any significant damage take place, and before long, one man ran toward the car yelling, which chased the vultures away. For a short time. They didn’t go far, hanging around in the trees above, just waiting for another victim.

vultures trees

One person tried to be smart by placing a large car cover on top of their vehicle. It didn’t work. The vultures apparently chewed right through the tarp to get at the rubber.

car cover holes

It’s not clear why the vultures attack the rubber car parts. They reportedly don’t even eat the rubber – they just like ripping it up. One official compared them to a bored gang of juveniles just causing trouble to pass time. Crazy!

In any case, be prepared when you visit the Everglades. Park close to the station, and consider wrapping plastic bags around your wipers, because the noise of the flapping bags seems to deter the birds.

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16 Responses to Yes, the vultures will attack your car in the Everglades

  1. Carol April 4, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    That is the best story I’ve read on quirky’s travels! Reminds me why I’m not particularly crazy about everglades and gators – Unfortunately I have friends in Georgia that I want to visit and that’s close enough. Thanks for that truly quirky story.

    • Scott April 5, 2012 at 4:02 pm #

      Thanks for reading. I think Georgia would be a fun place to visit.

  2. Victor Tribunsky April 4, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Ha ha. :-) A real fenomen.
    Victor Tribunsky recently posted..Bad Hofgastein – Ski and Alpentherme Paradise

    • Scott April 5, 2012 at 4:05 pm #

      Thanks for teaching me a new word!

  3. Courtney Mroch April 5, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

    Holy smokes! This is CRAZY! I LOLd when I saw the picture of the sign warning about the bad birds. YIKES!!!!!!
    Courtney Mroch recently posted..Haunt Jaunts 7 Super Shots From Around the World

    • Scott April 6, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

      :)

  4. Ayngelina April 6, 2012 at 3:27 am #

    Wow that is incredible, why would people park there?
    Ayngelina recently posted..Food Friday: Edible Toronto

    • Scott April 6, 2012 at 4:31 pm #

      There’s nowhere else to park if you want to see the gators!

  5. Ayelet - All Colores April 8, 2012 at 1:47 am #

    This is crazy! Good tip for those going there, though. Is there any way to reach the park via public transportation?
    Ayelet – All Colores recently posted..My 7 Super Shots @ HostelBookers

    • Scott April 8, 2012 at 4:01 pm #

      I don’t think public transit goes there.

  6. Aaron @ Aaron's Worldwide Adventures April 9, 2012 at 12:42 am #

    Wow…that’s rather intense! Don’t vultures dig through animal carcases or something? Maybe they need to practice on something…like a car… Was your rental car ok?
    Aaron @ Aaron’s Worldwide Adventures recently posted..The Travesty That Was Christmas Eve in Bethlehem: Part I (The Good)

    • Scott April 9, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      Yeah, I’m not sure what they normally eat. My car was fine. They only attacked this one car while I was there.

  7. InsideJourneys April 9, 2012 at 11:47 pm #

    Wow, I never would have guessed!
    InsideJourneys recently posted..Weekly Photo Challenge: Journey

    • Scott April 10, 2012 at 4:13 pm #

      It’s a quirky animal attack, for sure.

    • Scott April 10, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

      Me either!

  8. robin April 10, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Well I certainly wouldn’t have seen that coming!
    robin recently posted..Granada

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