Stories tagged buzzard

May
11
2007

Buzzard brohaha: The potential of buzzards being a danger to air traffic stopped a planned body farm from being developed near the San Marcos airport this week. (Photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
Buzzard brohaha: The potential of buzzards being a danger to air traffic stopped a planned body farm from being developed near the San Marcos airport this week. (Photo from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)
This is a story that only Dr. Hannibal Lecter could love.

Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas, has had to scuttle its plans to develop a “body farm” near the San Marcos Airport.

What’s a body farm, you ask? It’s a place where scientists bury cadavers as a way to do forensic research on how bodies decompose. And the plans for the body farm had to be scrapped out of fears that it might attract buzzards that could be a danger to planes landing at the airport.

Two other universities in the United States currently have body farms: the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and also Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C.

The idea behind the farms is to find out specific information on how bodies decompose which would give better data to law enforcement and coroners in being able to determine who and when bodies died.

Texas State is starting the search for another site for the body farm after meeting with airport officials who raised concerns about buzzards raiding the farm. The fear was that the vultures would hover around the farm, creating a hazard to planes approaching the airport.

Where do you think a good spot would be a for a body farm? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.