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Woman eaten by vultures

A French woman was eaten by vultures after falling off a cliff.

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Founder of the Asha Foundation animal shelter and hospital Harmesh Bhatt plays with Maya, an Indian vulture, at Hathijan village, some 20 kms from Ahmedabad, on January 16, 2010. (SAM PANTHAKY/AFP/Getty Images)

France is facing a nasty animal epidemic: starving vultures. The Griffon vulture population has swelled in southwest France thanks to protection laws that prosecute people who try hunting the animals, the Times of Europe reported.

But despite trying to protect the vultures, European regulators have also decided to ban humans from feeding the birds their preferred diet of burnt dead animals. As a result, the growing vulture population is getting very, very hungry. If this sounds like the introduction to a horror story, that's because it is. 

A 52-year-old woman was hiking with two friends in the French Pyrenees on April 14 when she fell off a cliff, plunged 980 feet and died, TF1 reported. Her body was immediately pounced on by vultures.

More from GlobalPost: Vultures are making a comeback

“There were only bones, clothes and shoes left on the ground,” Major Didier Pericou told the Times of Europe. “They took 45 to 50 minutes to eat the body.”

Local farmers have long warned that the vultures have become more menacing. They desperately want to hunt the vicious creatures. One farmer, Alain Larraide, even claims he's seen a vulture lift off a live cow.  “You can’t imagine what it is like to see an animal eaten alive,” he told Metro

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/france/130508/woman-eaten-vultures