American black vulture
Photo via Wilfred Hdez/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Vulture Poop Disrupting Customs And Border Patrol Communications

Operations by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at the U.S.-Mexico border are being disrupted by a group of 300 vultures that has taken up residence in one of their radio towers in Texas. According to an information request from the agency to vendors, the entire tower has been coated in bodily fluids from the birds, including urine, feces, and a corrosive vomit that is eating away at the metal that makes up the tower.

Not only that, the vultures will sometimes drop their prey from the tower.

“They will often defecate and vomit from their roost onto buildings below that house employees and equipment,” a CBP spokesperson told Quartz. “There are anecdotes about birds dropping prey from a height of 300 feet, creating a terrifying and dangerous situation for those concerned.”

Talk about a hostile work environment.

In addition to the issue of rotting meat bombs, the smell from a large flock of vultures can become a problem, with one homeowner describing it as that of “a thousand rotting corpses.” However, the biggest problem for the CBP seems to be the disruptions to radio communication, which the agency relies on heavily for its operations.

Unfortunately for CBP, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act prevents them from killing any of the vultures. Instead, the agency is weighing options such as hanging a freeze-dried vulture carcass or “taxidermic effigy” from the tower, which will often convince flocks of the scavengers to move. According to experts on this problem, vultures will not congregate where one of their flock has been killed.

The CBP has come under fire in recent years for their handling of migrants, including refugees and asylum seekers, coming from Central America as the U.S. “war on drugs” has fueled drug cartels that have made nations like Guatemala and El Salvador dangerous for everyday families to live in.

Most recently, they were criticized for reportedly detaining Iranian-born individuals at U.S. borders following the spiking tensions with Iran. CBP denied these reports, yet stories from detained individuals have been reported in the Seattle Times and other local publications from states on the Canadian border.

So it’s no surprise that many people are welcoming the news about the vulture poop problem.

Others just can’t resist the joke potential.

The CBP could also shut down its operations. Just a thought.