Plans by a US university to build a human "body farm" have been set back amid fears of vultures flocking towards the whiff of decomposing corpses.
Vultures are native to much of the US, especially in open areas
A nearby airport said the scavenging birds could endanger low-flying aircraft as they circled the body farm.
Residents were also said to be unhappy with plans to keep up to nine cadavers at the facility at any one time.
Texas State University had wanted to use the site to study how humans decompose under a range of conditions.
Forensic scientists use data from body farms to learn about how the human body decomposes in a range of controlled situations, to aid criminal investigations.
Two other body farms are already operational in the US, one established at the University of Tennessee in 1971, and the other in 2006 in North Carolina.
Texas State researchers had planned to begin using a site near Texas' San Marcos Municipal Airport later this year.
Up to nine bodies would be kept on site, some buried underground, others in shallow graves, and some even left in the open.
Most bodies used by the scientists are made available for medical research by prior consent.
But the plans fell foul of the vultures - known locally as buzzards - which frequent the skies and feed on dead animals and other carrion on the ground.
Plans for the site included a razor-wire fence around the property, vulture-proof cages to protect exposed bodies and a 70ft (21.3m) grass buffer around the site to absorb rainwater as it runs away.
However, airport officials and local residents felt the risks - both to pilots and to public health - remained too high, forcing officials to bury their plans.
"There's a lot of people who don't want it their backyard, and that's certainly understandable," said Mark Hendricks, a university spokesman.
"It's a controversial project, there's no doubt about it."