WESTCHASE, Fla. (WFLA) – The plan to get rid of black vultures in the Westchase neighborhood in Northwest Hillsborough County seems to be ruffling a lot of feathers, and not the intended ones.
The Westchase Community Development District contracted with the U.S.D.A. to scare the birds away. If the birds don’t scare away, the plan is to shoot them.
C. G. Barrett with the World of Westchase magazine posted the following message on Facebook:
“I learned at last night’s WCA Board meeting that the USDA’s turkey vulture elimination campaign, under a USDA contract signed by Westchase CDD at the request of the WCA, will begin Monday, March 14. If you live in The Bridges, particularly Stonebridge and Sturbridge, you will hear the work. USDA representatives have stated that at dawn and dusk they will use pyrotechnics (fireworks) on the small island in the lake bordered by Sturbridge and Stonebridge to disrupt the birds’ roosting site. Those vultures that are not frightened off will be shot. It’s likely a lot of residents in the general area will be hearing fireworks and gunshots starting Monday; the work, according to the USDA representative, could last for as much as two weeks. I’m just posting this so no one hears the commotion and worries that Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch are taking out the mail train in West Park Village.”
Steve Netta lives near the pond that houses the island the vultures call home. He is all for scaring them away, but is not convinced shooting them if they don’t leave is the right thing to do.
“The weaponry, right behind residential homes?” Netta asked. “One person was like, what kids are going to get shot? I’m like, I don’t know, why don’t I put your kids in the backyard while they are doing it and see if you care. “
Cameron Correa also thinks the vultures need to go, but has his reservations.
“I’m an animal lover, so I don’t want them to hurt the vultures,” said Correa. “But I also can’t have a flock of vultures destroying my roof.”
Kat Wysocki doesn’t live in Westchase but has friends who do. She runs the Pet Skunk Advocates & Rescue organization and is outraged by the plan.
“Of course I’m upset. It’s unnecessary, It’s violent,” said Wysocki. “Of course, we are going to do what we can to not allow this to happen. “