'Mean' turkeys attacking residents, pecking cars in Florida

Resident Katie Justice says turkeys surrounded her son.

— -- There's a new group of bullies in Longwood, Florida -- wild turkeys that are terrorizing residents.

The turkeys in town have been surrounding residents' children, tailing residents and pecking away at their cars.

"They're mean, and it's just very unusual behavior that I didn't even know existed,” said resident Katie Justice.

Reports of turkey attacks have become so common that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.

"Everybody has a turkey story," Justice said. "As strange as that sounds, we do."

One story is about a woman being tailed by turkeys. And Katie Justice has another: about her son being surrounded by turkeys, causing him to fall off his bike.

"I wasn't sure if they were going to peck him or attack him but he was very, very upset and we all were," she said.

Wildlife experts said territorial turkeys are attracted to shiny surfaces. And since it's mating season, they think they're seeing a competitor on the reflection of a car.

That's when they attack.

"Bears, deer, there's usually a lot of turkeys, but not normally ones that come up to your car and start pecking your car," said resident Kristen Haynes.

The Fish and Wildlife Conservation, however, says turkeys are not considered "nuisance wildlife," so the problem could last until March when hunting season begins.

"I just assumed [if] you were having a problem, and kids were involved especially, that they would be able to take care of that right away," Haynes said.

Until hunting season begins, residents are advised to make loud noises to scare the turkeys away.