Woman eaten by vultures-such a sensationalistic headline sounds too shocking to be true, but unfortunately it was a grisly reality over the weekend. An unnamed hiker, 52, who attempted to take a shortcut from the designated trail she was hiking in the French Pyrenees, fell over 1,000 feet to her death from Pic de Pista near the Spanish border.
Major Didier Pericou of the gendarmerie confirmed that the woman eaten by vultures, whose name has not been released, died due to impact from the fall. However, emergency crews searched for the woman for nearly 45 minutes before realizing that rescue efforts were unsuccessful. Tragically, the woman’s body was eaten by vultures before it could be recovered, and by the time rescue efforts reached her, all that was left were her shoes, clothing and bones.
Griffon vultures have become a dangerous nuisance in France. Due to a ruling that all dead livestock must be burned in order to mitigate spreading Mad Cow disease, the vultures have taken to attacking live animals and supplementing their diet by any available means. Unfortunately, the vultures are an endangered species, and therefore protected. This newest development, in which the victim was eaten by vultures in less than an hour, will certainly fuel the fire of local farmers who claim that the vultures’ endangered status allows the Griffon population to become too big and impossible to control.