MURPHYSBORO, Ill. — Southern Illinois cattle producers say they are facing a threat from black vultures.
The Southern Illinoisan in Carbondale reports the birds are preying on young calves on a growing number of cattle farms.
Gary Tretter II has a 60-cow herd near Murphysboro. He says he has lost four calves this year to vulture attacks. Several of his Jackson County neighbors have also experienced calf kills in which vultures are suspected.
Newborn calves are at the most risk, but Tretter said vultures have attacked and killed calves in his herd as old as two weeks.
University of Illinois Extension beef educator Teresa Steckler says she doesn’t remember vultures being active during past calving seasons.
Southern Illinois is at the northern point of the black vulture’s range in North America.
Information from: Southern Illinoisan, http://www.southernillinoisan.com