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Video shows Roswell woman 'battle' it out with vulture that got in through doggie door

Armed with umbrellas, the couple worked their way through the home, trying to shepherd the stubborn bird out the back door, finally succeeding in shooing it out.

ROSWELL, Ga. — A metro Atlanta couple is reliving the bizarre ordeal when they came back to their house to a surprise: a vulture making itself at home inside their living room.

It was all caught on doorbell video, shared with 11Alive by Roswell resident Vernalisa Rougeux.

According to Rougeux, she and her fiancé Jake Troti had popped out for a quick lunch on Saturday. When they were back home, Troti opened their front door to find the scavenger bird inside.

"I just couldn't believe what he was saying," she told 11Alive on Monday.

Rougeux said she initially thought it was an intruder inside the home, based on Troti's reaction. However, she said when Troti repeated that it was a vulture, she was in shock.

"There's a vulture in the house!" Troti can be heard saying in the doorbell video, to the disbelief of Rougeux. 

"Liar!" she replies back in the video.

"Swear to God!" Troti says back. 

In an interview, Rougeux said at that point, she thought it was a vulture inside attacking her dog, Georgia.

"Where's Georgia?" Rougeux asks in the video. "Is she OK?"

Both call to the pup, who then trots out the door, tail wagging. Rougeux said she believes the dog, who normally barks when people approach the door, was sound asleep and their call to her woke her up.

Knowing that Georgia was safe, Rougeux said their attention then turned to devising a plan to get the bird outside. Rougeux said Troti started recording on his phone, using it to see around the corner so he didn't get attacked. When they watched the video back on the porch, Rougeux remembered thinking to herself, "This thing is just living it up!"

Rougeux said she ran to the garage to try and let it out, but remembered she couldn't open it because the button was only accessible from the inside. So, she ran back around to the front and decided, "I'm just gonna get an umbrella," so she could "get bigger" than the bird to scare it.

Armed with the umbrella, Rougeux said she started screaming at the bird and flapping the umbrella to be bigger than it. Rougeux said she battled the vulture from upstairs to downstairs for a full five minutes, but, "I was determined to get him out," she said.

Cellphone video shows the moment Rougeux finally succeeded in shooing the bird outside in triumph.

"F----g got it!" she says in the video, as the bird alights on the roof of a neighboring home.

As for how the bird got inside, Rougeux said she believes it made its way in through the couple's doggie door, which they left open into their fenced-in backyard -- something they rarely do, but did on this occasion because of the quick outing.

She said she learned that while vultures cannot smell, they have a keen sense of sight, and she believes the scavenger was attracted to her kids' stuffed bear that she believes the bird mistook for a dead animal.

"We're never opening that doggie door again," Rougeux says in the video.

Once all the immediate excitement settled, Rougeux said she and Troti reviewed the video and had a good laugh about the whole thing. "It's hilarious!" she told 11Alive. 

She said she posted the video to her Facebook page because she thought it was funny and wanted her friends to have a good laugh. 

"People are loving it," she said. "It just seemed unreal -- I was just in shock watching!"

Rougeux said she spent the next two days sanitizing her entire home, but she won't soon wipe away the memory of duking it out with a vulture any time soon.

"It was the craziest thing ever!"

Vultures in Georgia

According to wildlife officials, there are two species of vultures found in Georgia: turkey vultures and black vultures. Both species can cause nuisance problems in urban areas and in rural settings, officials say.

Getting rid of vultures

According to the Georgia Wildlife Resource Division, there are some things homeowners can do if they think they have a problem with vultures.

Habitat modification

Sometimes it is as simple as removing roost trees or food resources. 


Homeowners who have a problem with roosting are advised to harass vultures when they arrive to roost and should be carried out for at least three days in a row.

"The ultimate goal of dispersal is not allowing a single bird to roost/loaf," according to the wildlife officials.

Officials say using pyrotechnics for visual and audio harassment, coupled with the use of "effigies" of dead vultures is often the most successful way to disrupt a roost, although officials recommend contacting local authorities to let them know before using pyrotechnics. 

Other harassment strategies include lasers, air horns, and paintball guns. 


Another option is to install "perch inhibitors," like bird spikes, bird wire, coyote roller, etc. to discourage perching and loafing.

Lethal control

The final method is to use lethal force, but property owners are required to have a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service migratory bird depredation permit before they can use lethal control for vultures. 

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