WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — A Florida woman who fed vultures, alligators and other wildlife behind her gated-community home has agreed to pay $53,000 to settle a lawsuit brought by homeowners association.
Palm Beach County Judge Scott Kerner on Wednesday permanently enjoined Irma Acosta Arya from feeding wildlife and ordered her to pay up by Feb. 14, the Palm Beach Post reported.
Neighbors and the homeowners association said Acosta Arya's nocturnal and daytime feedings attracted flocks of defecating and vomiting vultures, along with raccoons, alligators and bobcats. The golf community borders the wildlife-filled Grassy Waters Preserve.
“If that was the end of it and you could guarantee that, I’d be very happy,” association president Gordon Holness said after the brief hearing Wednesday. “This is a lady with a compulsion. Hopefully, she understands the extreme penalty she’d be under if this does reoccur. You get cynical after a while.”
Acosta Arya didn't attend the hearing, but her husband and son did. Her attorney, James Potts Sr., told the judge she will never feed the wildlife near her home again. He also told the judge she had not done the feedings “for many months.”
The complaints from neighbors started coming in last spring. said Holness. Neighbors reported seeing her providing finger sandwiches and raw chicken for the wildlife. They reported seeing many empty bags of dog food in a recycling bin near her house, though she doesn’t have a dog. She said the food was for a relative’s dog.
The vultures that came in for the feedings lingered afterward, neighbors said, adding that they smashed pool enclosures, destroyed outdoor furniture and grills and left the area with the stench of their bodily fluids.
Homeowner Siobhan Casimano described the smell as “like a thousand rotting corpses.”
Acosta Arya's attorney said she cares about human beings and animals. He told the judge she moved to the area next to the preserve because she loves nature and wildlife.