PA Game Commission Officer Shoots Pair of Wild Turkeys in Ross Neighborhood
Kinvara residents at odds with decision to put down birds.
Two wild turkeys, which had been attacking people living along Erin Court in the Kinvara neighborhood behind Ross Park Mall, were shot and killed by a Pennsylvania Game Commission officer on May 9, but not all residents agree with the decision to put the birds down.
Officer Gary Fujak killed both birds with one shot shortly after confronting them around 3:30 p.m. Ross Township police had been notified in advance that officer Fujak would likely be firing his weapon.
Several residents, who declined to be quoted, indicated to Patch that they enjoyed watching the birds in their neighborhood, and were not happy the Game Commission had been called in to remove them.
However, Jerry Feaser, press secretary for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, said Ross police and the commission had been receiving complaints about the pair of young male turkeys, referred to as jakes.
“One woman claimed to have had black and blue marks on her arms after the birds attacked while she was trying to get out of her car,” he said. “Turkeys often attack vehicles because they see their reflections, they are very territorial birds.”
And there were other incidents. “Joggers were repeatedly harassed, one woman and her daughter would have to carry sticks and brooms to ward off an attack while walking, and the mail truck was routinely chased,” Feaser said.
Feaser theorizes that the birds were being fed, or getting food from bird feeders, and didn’t want to leave the neighborhood, but more importantly, they had lost their fear of humans.
“They will defend what they believe to be their territory,” he said. “Turkeys are very large birds, they have spurs on their feet and can inflict some serious damage.”
Asked why the birds were not trapped, and moved out of the area, Feaser said it’s not practical. “Once you have a pair of birds unafraid of humans, you’re only going to be transferring the problem from one area to another,” he said.
“When you are dealing with nuisance situations like this, lethal means are often the best way to handle the problem. The easiest solution would be for people not to feed the wildlife, but instead enjoy them from a distance,” he added.
Click here for more tips from the Game Commission on what to do when wild, nuisance animals appear in your back yard.
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