By Beth David, Editor
Most people will agree that it is way cool to spot a bunch of wild turkey, roaming around the neighborhood. The resiliency of nature is on full display as these large, wild birds adapt to suburban, or even city, environments.
But, for some neighborhoods, the beasts are more than a nuisance, they are dangerous. As soon as they associate humans with food, the delicate cooperation between beast and human can quickly break down and the turkeys can get very aggressive.
Fairhaven temporary Animal Control Officer Terry Cripps said that recently the turkeys in a neighborhood west of Adams Street and north of Linden have been getting aggressive towards humans and going after cars.
He spoke with Mass. Wildlife and with residents, and has discovered that some people’s actions are making things worse, not better.
“First let me say that everyone has the right to defend themselves against anyone or any animal that is trying to harm them,” said Mr. Cripps in a statement. “Second, chasing these animals with a weapon down the street or through someones’s yard is not defending yourself. Driving your car at these birds attempting to hit them is also not defending yourself. I say this because I have been told that some residents have taken this course of action to try to kill these birds.”
Mr. Cripps said that the birds are going into the neighborhood because some of the residents have been feeding them.
“We need to all work together and remove the reason that they are entering the residential areas,” said Mr. Cripps. “If this is done then they will go back into the wooded areas of our town. To accomplish this we need to stop putting food out for them and remove any bird feeders that they can eat out of.”
Although it seems like a simple solution, it only takes one house to continue feeding them to spoil the plan.
“I have been in contact with a biologist from the Mass. Division of fish and wildlife. He stated that the only other solution for these birds is to trap and euthanize these innocent creatures,” wrote Mr. Cripps. “I do not support this course of action at all especially because all we have to do is stop feeding them and they will go back to the wilderness and live out their lives.”
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