Fowl Behavior: Wild Turkeys Terrorize Massachusetts Town

Feb 4, 2014 2:32pm

The foul behavior allegedly perpetrated by a band of turkeys has put Mansfield, Mass., on high alert.

“There are four of them that are being the problem children,” Jeff Collins, an animal control officer, told ABCNews.com. “They’ve stopped several people. They’re 25 pounds each, standing in your way, which causes most people  to stop and hesitate. The turkeys take this as a signal that you’re afraid and then chase you.”

Over the past few weeks, Collins said the turkey gang has cornered people leaving the bank, stopped residents from getting into their cars and even put a 6-foot-4, 240-pound cop on the defensive.

“He was saying, ‘They were coming at me. I was trying to stand my ground and they weren’t haven’t any of it,’” Collins said.

The problem of rogue turkeys is so serious that even the commonwealth’s Division of Fisheries and Wildlife has issued a guide for “Preventing Conflicts With Turkeys.” Here are some of their top tips for avoiding a turkey-takedown:

  • Don’t feed the turkeys. ”Keep wild things wild!” the guide says.
  • Don’t let turkeys intimidate you.  “Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten a bold, aggressive turkey with loud noises, swatting with a broom or water sprayed from a hose. A dog on a leash is also an effective deterrent.”
  • Cover windows or other reflective objects. “If a turkey is pecking at a shiny object such as a vehicle or window, cover or otherwise disguise the object. Harass the bird by chasing it, squirting with a hose or other means of aggression.”
  • Educate your neighbors.  ”Your efforts will be futile if neighbors are providing food for turkeys or neglecting to act boldly towards the birds. It requires the efforts of the entire neighborhood to help keep wild turkeys wild.”

And there you have it. Good luck, residents of Mansfield. Stay safe!

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In this file photo, a group of wild turkeys are  seen crossing a road. (Image Credit: Marilyn Dunstan/Getty Images)

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