Recently, the city of Woburn, Massachusetts, has been fighting a brutal enemy: a group of five turkeys that have been bothering people so much that some are afraid to leave their homes.
Meaghan Tolson, who lives in Woburn, told The Guardian, “Some days it’s frustrating. I’ll be like, ‘Oh my God, there’s an Amazon package,’ and I can’t go get it because the turkeys are there.”
Tolson says that the turkey gang consists of four females and a rough male. Tolson has given him the name “Kevin” and given the women the names “Monica,” “Ester,” “Patricia,” and “Gladys.” He says that he is the leader of the group.
She told The Guardian that the women are more laid-back and not as territorial.
CBS News says that people in Woburn have had scary experiences with the turkeys, which peck at everything from cars to kids.
April Drolette told CBS News that they always go toward her neighbor’s car, so she won’t leave her house if they go toward her car.
Yes, said Tolson. She told The Guardian, “They won’t let you leave your house. They peck at cars, they stop traffic. They go after kids on bikes. If you’re walking or jogging, or anything like that, they come for you.”
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She also said that many people leave brooms or rakes at their front door so they can get them out if turkeys are there.
According to The Guardian, turkeys are only active during the day and usually nest in trees or lampposts at night. Because of this, Tolson has started waiting until nightfall before leaving her house.
She told The Guardian, “I’ve kind of adjusted over time to it.” Tolson has, in fact, gotten used to avoiding the aggressive turkey gang.
She told The Guardian, “When I don’t see them for a couple of days, I think, ‘Oh, no, someone has run them over. I mean, yeah, they can be a pain sometimes. But, you know, they’re just turkeys.”
According to The Guardian, turkeys were native to Massachusetts but went extinct there in 1851 because their habitat was destroyed. However, biologists brought the birds back to Massachusetts more than 100 years later by catching 37 turkeys in New York and letting them go in Massachusetts. They did well, and now there are between 30,000 and 35,000.
Mass Live says that there are some ways that people can deal with aggressive birds. People shouldn’t feed wild turkeys; bird feeders should be kept clean. Loud noises, like a hose spraying water, can scare turkeys away. Shiny things, like car doors, can make turkeys angry, so they should be hidden or covered up.
MassWildlife says that turkeys can get mean if they are fed by people or find food in bird feeders. Then, they think of humans as part of their “flock” and try to “dominate” them.
David Scarpitti of MassWildlife told CBS News, “Turkey behavior starts to kick in where they become so habituated with people that they are not really seeing that distinction. It’s all about how they respond to the turkeys. If you turn and run away, now you are subdominant. He just won that battle.”
Who knows, maybe they lost someone over Thanksgiving and decided that they are not going to take it anymore.