Sunday, January 20, 2013

Police caught and euthanised troublesome turkey

A police chase through backyards in Brookline, Massachusetts, netted a Tom turkey on Tuesday that is believed to be one of a trio that has been terrorising residents and mailmen in recent months. Armed with nets, police responded to the Aspinwall Hill neighbourhood shortly after 6am after a woman reported she was attacked by a turkey. The neighbourhood is where the turkeys have attacked children on their way to school, and forced some mailmen inside homes on their routes.

Angry turkeys have tried to peck through a storm door window and one neighbour said he has had to fend off the birds with an umbrella during a siege that he labelled “a nightmare.” The captured turkey was taken to Tufts University veterinary school in Grafton where it had to be euthanized due to a broken wing suffered in the capture, police said.

Though two of the birds are still at large, wildlife experts and police are hopeful that removing one of the trio would cause the others to mellow out – defusing the gang mentality that has existed in the neighbourhood. Brookline Police Sergeant Bobby Murphy said officers headed to Tappan Street Tuesday and set up a sort of police stakeout until two turkeys were spotted.

YouTube link.

At first the birds got away, but about three hours later police chased down one of the birds through multiple back yards before finally netting the bird to the rear of a home along Tappan Street. The second bird got away. “They are hard to catch,” said Murphy. Murphy said police are hoping the other two troublesome Tom turkeys will now be less aggressive. But if not, he said police will be back to catch them, as well.


WilliamRocket said...

We build our houses and roads wherever we want, and if some birds or animals or native people have their homes there, well, we'll just move them on or kill them.

Fumble Bum said...

In the winter the females and poults (immature offspring) herd together. The males go off alone and will hang out together in very small numbers. Like these males, only three.

In the Spring, the males will compete to mate with the hen of their choice. Younger males (probably the remaining two to be caught) will settle for sloppy seconds if they get any at all.

The kind of behavior this story describes is typical of Dominant male behavior. He's just doing what comes naturally.

It should be noted that these turkeys are also as dumb as a box of wet hair. One Spring I saw a dominant male bluster and inflate his feather coat to fight off a blueberry bush from mating with his women.

I'm not saying that they shouldn't be relocated when this kind of trouble happens. I just think that it is bound to happen again and again. It begs the question: If we're gonna keep shrinking the land wildlife needs to survive, shouldn't we at least be better prepared to handle wildlife management withing suburban bounds?

Anonymous said...

Suddenly I'm craving a turkey sandwich...