Black Vultures Killing North Carolina Goats

24 Jun

WARNING! This post contains graphic pictures of our goat killed by black vultures.

In the past 6 weeks 7 goats have been viciously attacked and killed by these vultures and we are unaware of what to do.

We live in a rural area south of Greensboro, North Carolina for the past 3 years. There are 2 separate goat pastures. The one on the far side also contains 3 large horses. The one closest to our house has just goats.

6 weeks ago walking along the driveway I noticed about 15 vultures in the pasture, which means only one thing, something is dead. I ran in to chase them off and 4 baby goats were killed and half eaten.

At that point we weren’t sure if something else killed them first and the vultures were there cleaning up. After some research my father-in-law said there was a new vulture in town, other than the Turkey Vulture. This bird called the Black Vulture preys on livestock.

A couple weeks after the first attack another goat was killed. Then 2 more were killed within days of each other. One of the deceased goats were in the middle of an open field with many twigs around her. This tells me the birds came down from the trees breaking off branches as they landed.

The way the goats were eaten started from behind and some of their eyes were pecked out. The head of the goat was usually left behind. I have seen so much horror that I am numb to it now. I just want to find out how to stop this. I know the birds have great eye sight and wondering if they are killing in the evening hours.

The last goat to be killed was at least 5 months old and not a helpless baby.

I have been sleeping close to the back door so I can hear goats yelling and possibly scare the birds off. Vultures don’t make much noise at all.

I noticed goat hair 20 feet from where she died. It looks like she tried to get away, poor thing.

We love our goats and I am deeply disturbed by all of this unnecessary killing.

I have put a call into the North Carolina Wildlife Services Office at 919-786-4480 today and hoping to hear a response soon. We have taken it upon ourselves to kill a few black vultures that have found a home in a nearby tobacco barn.

We may need a Migratory Bird Depredation Permit issued by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to shoot these birds. If anyone has some insight on this matter, please respond.

We Love Our Goats!!!!

Diana Gardner-Williams




Posted by on June 24, 2008 in Country Living


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6 responses to “Black Vultures Killing North Carolina Goats

  1. David Wharton

    June 24, 2008 at 9:43 pm

    Wow — that’s gruesome. Sorry about your goats!

    Apparently this isn’t uncommon:

    Make sure you don’t get yourself into trouble by killing vultures.

    • shannon

      July 2, 2009 at 11:47 pm

      My nieces little mini pincher was just found yesterday being ripped apart by the vultures, she lives in Sylva, North Carolina. My sister is very upset and worried about her two other small dogs and my niece and nephew who are 2 and 4. Any info would be great. Ho do u keep them away?

  2. diana gardner-williams

    June 25, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Thank you David for the link. Another gruesome story!!

    These are very aggressive birds.

    Thankfully a very nice gentlemen called me today and will issue us a Migratory Bird Depredation Permit on Monday to remove some black vultures with fire arms. He could not believe that some of the goats killed weighed 20 pounds.

    My mistake, we found that bird and others already dead.

  3. Norma

    May 17, 2010 at 3:53 pm

    I just took my min pin for a walk (we live in Cary).
    Big black vulture circle around of for awhile, then landed in the roof of our house waiting for my dog to walk away from me to land on him

  4. Sarah Jinnah

    July 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    You definately need great pyranees guardians for your goats. We have 3 watching over our herd,would not feel safe without them
    Sarah Jinnah

  5. Shannon

    December 29, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Just driving between Summerfield and Oak Ridge and saw at least… 20(?) perched atop an older house, all with wings outstretched. Honestly, it was one of the creepiest things I had ever seen. Googled about them and found this post. I’ll be sure to look out for these in my area of the triad.


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