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Vultures eye Wis. hospital patients

July 23, 2008 at 5:31 PM

GLENDALE, Wis., July 23 (UPI) -- Patients at a Milwaukee-area hospital say the last thing they want to see while facing surgery are vultures perched outside their windows.

Yet, that's the view from some patient's rooms at the Orthopedic Hospital of Wisconsin in Glendale, Wis., the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Wednesday. It said patients about to go under the knife can watch up to six turkey vultures sitting on ledges of the three-story building.

The birds have long associations with death, but doctors say their patients aren't taking it too seriously because not too many people die at the hospital, which deals with sports injuries more often that life-threatening illnesses.

Still, the striking birds, which boast six-foot wingspans, cause some conversation, hospital officials say.

"I've had patients tell me, 'Doc, it's not very reassuring,'" orthopedic surgeon John Kroner told the newspaper.

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