Vultures buzz downtown Orlando; shock strips to be installed at courthouse

By: Michael Lopardi

Updated:

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Commissioners in Orange County have approved a new system to keep turkey vultures away from the 23-story courthouse in downtown Orlando.

The county plans to install low-voltage shock strips on the ledges and roof to try to prevent the vultures from damaging the building. 

Read: Vultures eating away at Orange Co. Courthouse building

“I think as long as no harm comes to the birds, then we should do whatever’s humane for us and the birds and nature,” Orlando resident Dan Zuchelli said.

A spokesperson for the county said the birds can pick at the caulking, which is used to keep out moisture. Parts of the building had to be resealed in 2015.

Read: Hovering vultures in downtown Orlando cause quite a stir

Experts said the birds are attracted to the courthouse's height, and rising heat helps them glide. 

A county official said the birds leave their droppings and food behind on the building. 

The spokesperson said the new system won't hurt the vultures, but not everyone agrees.

“I think they should maybe bring some experts in to see how these birds react in their natural habitat and build something that would give them a nice living space,” Orlando visitor Lisa Quattrini said.

Read: Vultures damaging vehicles at Ohio state parks

The courthouse previously used a shock line, but it was damaged in a hurricane and hasn't worked since 2005.

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