Residents Of Texas Retirement Community Attacked By Wild Turkeys After Feeding Them For Months
Wild turkeys have besieged a retirement community in Georgetown, Texas after becoming accustomed to people over the past few months.
The belligerent birds occupied the Sun City retirement community in Georgetown because members of the community began giving them food, according to Texas Monthly.
A bunch of turkeys are harassing senior citizens in Texashttps://t.co/uS3duoQGaP
— MySA (@mySA) May 23, 2023
Residents of the over 55 neighborhood began feeding the turkeys last summer in the wooded area surrounding Berry Creek. Most residents agree that the birds started misbehaving after receiving food, Texas Monthly reported.
The turkeys would play chicken in the road and cars would stop for them. Vehicles that pulled away were chased and occasionally, groups of turkeys would block driveways.
Joan Altshuler, a 78-year-old resident, told the outlet about a violent encounter she had with the group of Turkeys. She says she was rammed in the kidney area by the birds and chased onto her porch.
“The turkeys barricaded me,” Altshuler said. “They wouldn’t let me get down. Then they got bored and started going off in another direction. I started slinking around the side of the house, I started throwing rocks from the garden.”
After she was freed, Altshuler called a friend on the Sun City community association’s wildlife committee, which launched an investigation with assistance from Warren Bluntzer, a wildlife biologist and consultant, Texas Monthly reported. Bluntzer told the outlet that wild animals can become aggressive and territorial when they become habituated to human contact and their fear goes away.
Shortly thereafter, residents were forbidden from feeding the turkeys by the wildlife committee and encouraged to “haze” the turkeys with loud noises and by bringing dogs on walks
Turkey attacks continued despite the new rules, with small, older women as the most common victims. One woman was taken to the emergency room for a tetanus shot after a turkey scratched her with its talons, Texas Monthy reported.
The Sun City community association is planning on trap the turkeys to remove them from the area and send them to a nearby ranch, but could change depending on how the bird respond.
“We’re only on the cusp of wildlife conflict with humans,” Bluntzer said. “Population numbers are swelling everywhere. The next thing is how you manage them. But will that work and be successful? No one knows what the future will hold, but the problem’s not going to go away.”