"Prosperity always inflates the imprudent, and worldly peace weakens the vigor of the soul." - Peter Abelard

Friday, July 15, 2011

WIld Turkeys Run Amok In Dedham

Much to the dismay of residents, motorists, and animal control professionals, a small flock of wild turkeys has taken up residence in this quiet, residential corner of Dedham adjacent to I-95 and Washington Street.

“It’s been really bad,” said Harmony Hill resident Sean Roche. “The biggest (male) turkey was in front of my back door the other day, and I couldn’t get out of the house. I tried scaring it away by making noises with my iPhone, but that didn’t work. Eventually, I had to use my dogs to scare it away, which I hate to do.”

Roche estimated the size of the flock to be around four with several poults (young turkeys), and said the turkeys show very little fear of humans or cars.

“They have been causing commotion in the Washington/Harmony Hill intersection for over a month,” Roche said.

Animal control authorities are now involved in Harmony Hill’s turkey situation, and trying to resolve the problem without ruffling too many feathers, according to town officials.

“Typically, turkeys don’t pose much of a problem,” said Dr. Andrew Cartoceti, a veterinarian at the New England Wildlife Center. “They’re usually spooked by humans, so this is perplexing for us as well.”

Last Saturday a representative from the Dedham Animal Rescue League and Christina McKee of Dedham Animal Control tried to capture the turkeys for over an hour. McKee said they plan on returning with more volunteers later this week to make a second attempt. Once captured, they plan to release the birds in a more secluded, wooded area.

“The single biggest thing you can do to get rid of turkeys is actually to minimize the factors that attract them to an area,” Cartoceti said. “That means no feeding, because these animals will pick up on patterns and recognize food-rich areas.”

Roche said he knew someone who was feeding the birds in the surrounding neighborhood, which he thinks could be the root cause of the problem.

“As much as possible, we encourage people not to directly interact with wildlife and enjoy the animals from a safe distance,” Cartoceti said.

“I trust Animal Control, and I just really want to see this resolved,” Roche said.

MassWildlife has compiled an exhaustive list about dealing with wild turkeys, here are a few tips adapted from that list that Dedham residents should find helpful:
  • Get rid of any bird feeders or shiny objects in your backyard. Both of these things attract turkeys.
  • Don’t let turkeys intimidate you. Don’t hesitate to scare or threaten a bold, aggressive, or territorial wild turkey by spraying it with a hose or making loud noises.
  • Do not allow turkeys to become habituated to people. Wild turkeys that become conditioned to human foods and/or habituated to people are likely to cause damage or to attempt to dominate people.
  • Remove or secure all potential sources of food away from the reach of turkeys.
  • Call Dedham Animal Control at 781-751-9106 if turkeys become problematic in your neighborhood.

    No comments:

    Post a Comment