When Turkeys Attack

Jakeattack Though many of the Boston area's residents are still basking in the glory of a World Series victory by their beloved Red Sox and the seemingly invincible dominance of the Patriots, there are others that are dwelling in fear with the coming of Thanksgiving.

That's right, that favorite symbol of America's annual family gourgefest, the wild turkey, is raising havoc and even stalking some of its citizens. The Boston Globe reports that Kettly Jean-Felix was on her way to a doctor's appointment when she was stalked and then attacked by a lone gobbler strutting the sidewalk.

"This is so scary," said Jean-Felix. Nearby Brookline postal carrier Rosanne Lane told the Globe that she has skipped houses before because flocks of the foul fowl have ganged up on her.

"They make a lot of noise and I just take off," Lane told the Globe. Reporter Keith O'Brien notes in the article that the local police there receive as many as a dozen complaint calls concerning the birds. Of course, in the usual obligatory background info that reporters feel compelled to inaccurately share with the general public is that hunting was to blame for the birds extirpation in the early 1800s. True. But there was no mention of how hunters also helped bring the birds back.

In the state of Massachusetts alone, the NWTF chapters there have raised and spent more than $141,000Bilde dollars to help fund wild turkey restorationa and habitat improvement. And that is a drop in the bucket to the overall funds spent from excise taxes and hunting license revenues, the two primary sources of income for most state agencies. But don't expect the Globe to cover that one.

As wild turkey populations continue to grow and spread, it is inevitable that they will move into suburban areas where hunting pressure is nonexistent and many residents don't understand the birds. Accounts of turkeys attacking children as well as adults have popped up in New Jersey and California as well.

According to an NPR report on the same ornery flocks in near Boston, the game department has distributed a pamphlet. Their advice: When attacked by a turkey, fight back! That's something most of you reading the Strut Zone won't have any problem with.