Town ‘Terrorized’… by Turkeys?

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Did I read that right–the town of Tom River, NJ (where my sister lives), is being “terrorized” by… wild turkeys? (

It could be a 1950s horror movie: Attack of the Wild Turkeys. “See the turkeys take revenge for all those Thanksgiving dinners! See it if you dare!” See them–according to nooze reports–pecking roofs, breaking windows on cars, and “attacking residents.” A former major league baseball player went so far as to tweet the governor, pleading for the state to rescue the beleaguered township: “They trashed my yard!” he laments.

It’s supposedly a “gang”–do turkeys have gangs?–of 40 to 60 birds. Their favorite target, we are told, is the 55-and-over community called Holiday City. Do the turkeys know it’s called that? No wonder they’re on the warpath.

Having lived in the suburbs all my life, I don’t know much about wild turkeys. I do know you can’t shoot them in New Jersey. Not that it would be a good idea for a lot of residents to cut loose with the lead. The houses are way too close together for that.

Some of you who grew up in the country, what do you say? Are turkeys dangerous to humans? Has anyone ever been killed and eaten by turkeys? Did the turkeys want succotash and cranberry sauce with that?

Well, the earth is the Lord’s (Ps. 24), not ours: we just live on it. A few years ago, one day, we had some wild turkeys in our neighborhood. They strolled across the street to St. Francis Cathedral and stood around by the Christmas creche. They looked like they belonged there.

Can we say the same?

18 comments on “Town ‘Terrorized’… by Turkeys?

  1. There are quite a few wild turkeys in this neck of the woods, and we saw plenty in Washington State, too. Never heard of them causing any trouble.

  2. So well typed, Lee!! They are beautiful creatures. I wish they weren’t mass-murdered & eaten for an occasion the humans just made up. Families should visit & feast together, but why do we keep the dead bird as a tradition? They’re so funny to watch too. I want to hug them.

  3. Arkansas has Turkey Season in April. It is now Deer Season and one hunter went to claim his prize when the deer jumped up because it wasn’t dead and killed the hunter – poetic justice?

  4. I wouldn’t want to get in a fight with one, but they are far from dangerous. I think that they can be a nuisance, but then again, so can I. 🙂

    People do seem to be too removed from the natural world. I promise you, most of these people would have no idea of what to expect from the most docile of farm animals, not to mention a sizable wild bird whom acts upon its opinions.

    Frankly, I’m just glad that God’s creatures are prospering and I’m thrilled when they visit. I love seeing the deer, rabbits and desert hares in these parts and even the potentially dangerous creatures, such as coral snakes, are incredibly beautiful and require only a bit of vigilance on my part in order to remain safe. I’ve never seen wild turkeys here, but the local buzzards can be impressive.

    I truly doubt that wild turkeys have broken car windows, unless they were actually hit by a fast moving car. Even domestic turkeys can be a handful, but it’s not that hard to get away from them. (I speak from first-hand experience.) When it comes right down to it, I’d rather deal with turkeys than with geese. Geese can be downright belligerent. I’ve been chased by geese.

    This sounds like another snowflake reaction. A peasant anywhere in the Third World armed with a broom, could handle anything a wild turkey could dish out and if it became a fight to the death, they’d be eating turkey for super that night. 🙂

    Earlier today, a coworker and I were discussing how wimpy our civilization has become. It seems like a lot of younger folk have no ability or willingness to stand up for themselves. Turkey terror? What would these people do if a bear showed up; hold a town council meeting and pass out Play-Doh? Put on their comfy jammies and beg the bear not to harm them? Maybe a drum circle followed by a vegan yoga class. 🙂 As a civilization, we are in very deep trouble.

    1. Most people don’t know there are coral snakes in Arizona. They think they’re only in Florida. They’re two different subspecies, but they look alike.

    2. I’ve heard that there has never been a recorded death from an Arizona Coral Snake. I don’t recommend that anyone trifle with venomous snakes, but at least if you come upon one accidentally chances are good that you can get away safe.

  5. I have to chime in. I frequent my parents suburban home in MA. I’m an animal lover so when wild turkeys swarmed their yard I fed them bread crumbs. Bad idea! They returned everyday, increasingly aggressive, and when they didnt get food they actually walked up the steps to the front door and banged their beaks on the glass. Seriously, they are scary!

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