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Wildlife officials failed to capture wild turkeys before attack on Sacramento delivery driver



Final winter, a mail service was making deliveries within the Arden-Arcade neighborhood of Sacramento when he was attacked by a “notably aggressive” and “large” male turkey.

The service, who was armed with some form of stick, hit the turkey, killing it, California Division of Fish and Wildlife officers mentioned.

There was motive to suspect that somebody was feeding the neighborhood’s wild turkeys, which started attacking drivers and disrupting deliveries from the U.S. Postal Service, FedEx, Amazon, UPS and different carriers.

“I’ve been round about 25 years, so I form of know turkeys,” Capt. Patrick Foy, a spokesman for the division’s Regulation Enforcement Division, mentioned in an interview with The Occasions. “And I simply checked out it, and I’m like, ‘Oh, that is the largest turkey I’ve ever seen.’”

The incident in late February was the fruits of a battle that had been effervescent for months between the turkeys and supply drivers. Inner paperwork and movies obtained by the Sacramento Bee present that wildlife officers tried to intervene for months previous to the incident however have been unsuccessful.

The U.S. Division of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Well being Inspection Service was referred to as to seize the wild birds. An agent “looked for the birds on a minimum of 2 events in early January however couldn’t find the offenders,” the Fish and Wildlife Division mentioned in inner paperwork.

For the reason that incident with the mail service, wildlife officers have decided {that a} neighbor had been offering the turkeys with “copious portions” of meals, Foy informed The Occasions.

“It in all probability contributed to the huge dimension of the turkey in query, as a result of it was consuming simply an infinite quantity of meals daily from this explicit family,” Foy mentioned shortly after the incident. “We’re addressing that difficulty as a significant contributing issue to this general drawback.”

The resident was informed to “stop feeding these birds,” the Bee reported. It was unclear if the individual would face fines.

The California Division of Fish and Wildlife reportedly started receiving calls about turkey assaults on mail carriers in October 2021. Officers suggested towards feeding the birds and advised utilizing instruments equivalent to an open umbrella to chase them away, the Bee reported.

“By mid-October, it was evident that the birds weren’t responding to regular ‘shooing away’ and one of many mail carriers was injured on his hand,” the company mentioned in a report obtained by the Bee.

The company despatched members of its Human-Wildlife Battle staff to the neighborhood to research.

Investigators, seen in movies shot by Foy, may stroll proper as much as the turkeys, inflicting them to maneuver away, however the birds have been seen chasing a mail truck down the road, the Bee reported. One video obtained by the Bee exhibits two turkeys pecking and gobbling at a USPS truck whereas ignoring regulation enforcement and passersby.

The Human-Wildlife Contact staff then received permission to conduct an operation: kill as much as 4 of the birds. However the wily birds escaped wildlife personnel.

Two “seize operations in late October and early December have been unsuccessful because the birds ran away from workers,” the report mentioned.

Thus far, no turkeys have been captured or killed.

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