While hunters are eagerly anticipating the spring turkey season, residents of Albany, California are beginning to dread the telltale calls of wild turkey. For more than a month, the birds have been guests of the town and they have no plans on moving elsewhere.
According to the Albany Patch, large numbers of turkeys began moving into the area earlier this year. Dismayed residents report that the animals are nesting on private property and getting in the way of traffic. Homeowner Renu Bhatt said that nearly 30 turkeys have taken over her family’s backyard, making it hard for her children to sleep. Her husband Pareen Shah brought the matter before the city council at a town meeting where many of the residents agree that the birds have been causing a ruckus.
When city officials contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, they were told that relocating the turkeys was out of the question. The department was concerned that moving the birds would expose the new environment with any diseases the birds might have had.
“Basically the answer we received from Fish and Wildlife is that trap and relocation is not an option,” said City Clerk Nicole Almaguer. One of the only alternatives left to the townspeople is applying for a “depredation permit,” which would require evidence that the turkeys are causing considerable damage to their property. Instead of a blanket permit for the town, individual residents would have to apply. If qualified, the turkeys would be trapped and subsequently euthanized.
Not all the townsfolk feel that the birds are a menace however, and officials believe some may be making the situation worse by feeding the turkeys. For now, the city council is considering an ordinance that would make feeding the animals a finable offence.
A rafter of turkeys were caught on film and can be seen below admiring some cars.