Police dispatch wild turkey
A wild turkey that had taken up residence in Rochester crossed a line Tuesday by going after a child on a bicycle. Rochester police killed the bird after animal control exhausted attempts to capture it, said Interim Police Chief John Sherwin.
The bird, nicknamed Jake, had been making appearances on various social media sites stopping traffic or strutting and fanning and occasionally charging cars on 16th Street Southwest.
Police had been getting calls daily for about a month about the "very aggressive" bird, Sherwin said.
"Sometimes it was two, three or more calls a day," he said, noting the bird often pecked at slow-moving cars, and even chased after motorcyclists. He said that those living in the area were reportedly feeding the animal — which is why it likely stuck around and showed no fear of humans.
Animal control was called to the area of 16th Street Southwest and Mayowood Road Tuesday morning for a report the turkey had charged a child riding a bike.
"It’s one thing to be standing on the side of the road," Sherwin said. "It’s another thing to be a traffic hazard.
"And it’s an entirely different thing to go after a child," he added.
Staff from animal control, a division of the police department, as well as the Department of Natural Resources tried to trap the bird in nearby public gardens. They tried traps, an animal control pole and nets, Sherwin said. Eventually, the bird began to charge police and animal control workers.
"They tried everything," he said.
Police shot and killed the bird.
Sherwin said he would have preferred the bird had been captured and relocated. Calls on wild turkeys aren’t uncommon — especially this time of year, Sherwin added. Usually they move along.
"But I can’t remember one that set up and defended a territory like this," he said.