ST. LOUIS (AP) - Farmers and ranchers in parts of the Midwest are fending off a new menace - black vultures that swoop down and peck newborn calves and other small animals to death.
Some cattle producers have lost multiple calves to vulture attacks that have become increasingly common over the past decade or so. Lambs, goats, foals and other animals also have been victimized. Defending them is made more difficult by the fact that the aggressive attackers are federally protected.
Missouri has long been home to turkey vultures, which feed off the carcasses of dead animals. The black vulture does, too, but also attacks live animals.
The black vulture, more common in South America, gradually made its way north. In recent years the range has extended into Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.