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Everglades National Park: Do Vultures Really Eat Cars in the Everglades?

If you visit the website for Everglades National Park, you'll find all the information you would expect: entrance fees, information on things to do, etc.

However, you'll also find information about a peculiar problem: black vultures tearing apart the vinyl and rubber components of vehicles in the park. It seems a bit odd - vultures tearing up cars? It doesn't seem like this is something real. At least, I didn't think it sounded real.

Except, it's very real.

In March, we visited Everglades National Park. On a warm Saturday morning, we found ourselves at the Royal Palm area of the park, where you can walk the Anhinga Trail and the Gumbo Limbo Trails. It's a popular area of the park, and it's supposedly ground zero for vehicle-eating vultures. I can't say I expected to see any of these birds, but when we drove up, there they were.

A few of the vultures who greeted us at Royal Palm. That long black thing

the one is picking at? It's a piece of a car, not a snake.

Parking our car, more vultures were hanging out. Except these ones were actually on cars, and they were most definitely pulling off pieces of those cars.

Nothing to see here...I'm definitely not about to destroy this car

(note: he was about to destroy this car).

To help counteract this, the park provides tarps to cover your cars, which thwart the vinyl and rubber stealing birds.

Do you think the rental car company would believe you if you told them

a vulture caused the damage to your car?

After covering our rental car, we hit the two trails at Royal Palm. Upon our return, however, the vultures were mostly gone, and those that were left didn't seem interested in cars at all. I suspect as the day got hotter, they disappeared or decided to avoid the hot metal of the cars. Had we arrived at this point, I might continue to doubt the necessity of the vulture protections. However, having seen it with my own eyes, I can verify that vultures most definitely attempt to destroy cars at Everglades National Park.


Click this link to order your copy of 101 Travel Bits: Everglades National Park today - find out more about vehicle-eating vultures and lots of other interesting bits of information about the park.


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