What happened to the neighborhood turkey?

Editor’s note: We are still waiting to hear back from the U.S. Postal Service on its investigation into the turkey’s death. It is not clear at this time if the same postal worker who hit the turkey with the shovel on Feb. 17 also ran over the turkey with a U.S. Postal Service vehicle on Feb. 24.

Wish we could have met

Remembrance is all we have

Strut free my fowl friend  -Akimitsu

I do hope they let go of that postal worker. I hope the residents do not have to see him again. I do not want him in the Armatage neighborhood either. I hate to see if he does this to animals, what he could do to a person. It's scary. -Kelli E., Armatage resident

This article could benefit from some more diverse opinions. The turkey was a wild animal.  He was a nuisance on his best days and aggressive on most days.  He was threatening to my family and he prevented us from enjoying our yard. We were concerned that he would attack a person or cause an accident most days. I agree that a novelty, like this turkey, helped shift our focus to more whimsical things but this was a wild animal. Nothing to be taken lightly. -Anonymous

RIP Gregory Peck. It felt as if he was our neighborhood mascot. I think most of us truly enjoyed his turkiness. I sure did. If I thought to him, ‘Take your time, Gregory Peck. You’re looking particularly lovely today,’ he’d look at me for a bit, and then finish crossing the road. If I thought to him, ‘Hi handsome, I’m in a hurry to get to the post office before they close,’ he’d sort of nod and move along. I miss our moments. -Gayle

It seems that if a turkey, or any animal, is a potential threat, then a mail carrier or delivery driver reserves the right to not get out of their truck and put themselves at risk. It’s a better option than fighting the animal and potentially harming it. But customers will need to accept that they won’t get their delivery that day. Delivery workers are under a lot of pressure to work quickly and don’t have time to wait for an animal to “mosey“ along. -Sara

About that turkey…Their behavior can change, depending on things like mating season, or just age.

When they first arrived in the city we were charmed. One of them took up residence in our yard, roosting on a bare limb over the street much to the annoyance of those parked below.  She spent the day in our yard, pecking at her own image in the basement windows.  I felt sorry for this lonely gal and put out a special dish of bird food for her and took a zillion photos.  We have a turkey living here, how cool is that?!

In the spring she took up with two aggressive toms and our yard became a turkey porn show, although she didn't seem to have much interest in either one–the old Alpha with tattered tail feathers, or the far more attractive teen, who for all of his strutting and tail feather shaking couldn't seem to catch as much as a glance. They all disappeared over the summer. Frankly, good riddance, as turkey poop all over back porch stairs and walkways diminishes the magic of urban wildlife, such as it was.  

She returned to our yard in early fall and she was ferocious. She'd fly at our heads, talons outstretched in front, like geese do to protect their young. The first time it happened I had to fend her off with a yard chair, like a lion tamer. She attacked strangers as well. One time we heard screaming out on the street and she was flapping and pecking at the heads of two women who were simply walking by. We chased her off with a broom. Would have used a shovel if I'd had one. To get to the street from our house we took to carrying a large black umbrella, which we'd hide behind when she attacked. A neighbor taught me that trick. The large unknown shape scares them, especially if you open and shut it rapidly so it makes noise as well.

I stopped putting up bird feeders and she eventually left in search of a better buffet. I hope she finds happiness. But having seen her attack the hand that fed her, my sympathy in this case tilts to the postal worker. -Susan L.

Thanks for this wonderful and tragic story. I'd like to know this: What training does the U.S. Postal Service provide to mail carriers regarding companion animal interactions and wildlife? Turkeys and other wildlife are part of our communities so it seems important for them to address this topic, and for the City/Animal Care & Control to do so for residents as well. Clearly drivers need to slow down and look out for wildlife as spring mating and baby season nears. Animals are protective of their nests and young, so we all need to know how to stay safe and help our fellow beings stay safe as well. -Cari L.

Editor’s note: We are planning to ask the U.S. Postal Service about its training once they are willing to speak with the press.

Postal workers carry mace. This non lethal method could have been used in either of these cases. - Rose W.

All it takes is one person to completely deprive another of everything. It’s not enough to love and admire wildlife. We need to stand up for them, protect them, and prosecute those who harm them. -Francis