Walt Disney World still has problems with invading vultures, but its kinder, gentler methods of controlling them and other birds have led state officials to drop animal-cruelty charges.

The dismissal of the last 13 animal cruelty counts ends an embarrassing episode for the tourist attraction.The charges stemmed from problems Disney had trying to control wild birds at its 11-acre Discovery Island and surrounding area in 1989. The noisy birds, primarily vultures, attacked captive animals, stole food and defecated on boardwalks.

According to 16 state and federal charges filed in September 1989, Disney workers trapped birds without proper permits, beat some vultures to death, held others in small closed cages where they suffocated, shot at hawks and falcons, and disturbed eggs in egret and ibis nests.