A woman who died after falling off a cliff in France was reportedly eaten by vultures in just 45 minutes, before rescue workers were able to get to her body.
The 52-year-old woman was hiking with two friends in the French Pyrenees on April 14 when she fell off a cliff and plunged more than 980 feet to her death.
At that point, the woman's body was eaten by vultures in minutes.
“There were only bones, clothes and shoes left on the ground,” Major Didier Pericou told The Times of London. "They took 45 to 50 minutes to eat the body."
"When we first went out in the helicopter looking for the body," he recalls, "We saw numerous vultures without realizing what they were doing."
The incident may have political implications and ignite the cries of area farmers who want permission to shoot the griffon vultures, a protected species.
Farmers claim the ban has led to a swell in the vulture population regionally and that their livestock is being threatened as a result of the move.
The birds have been deprived of animal carcasses in recent years due to a European law that requires farmers to burn the bodies of dead animals.
A 2011 report published in Nature revealed that the griffon vulture had turned from scavenger to predator in regions of southern France and Spain.
Between 2006 and 2010 there were 1,165 reports of the bird killing livestock.