PLACERVILLE (CBS13) — Two turkeys who had been “terrorizing” Placerville for several months finally got their happy ending, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) said on Thursday.
The CDFW said two turkeys have been causing a ruckus in the town for a long while now — becoming aggressive while looking for food, attacking school children at their bus stops, and even going after a local mailman, among others. The birds were also spotted frequently stopping in the middle of Highway 50 causing traffic to come to a standstill and forcing motorists to get out of their vehicles to shoo them away.
The reason for this aggressive and frequent behavior? The CDFW said it all comes down to residents in the area feeding these birds instead of treating them like wild animals and allowing them to move on.
The department said it alerted the community of the dangers of feeding wild animals, but the feeding continued anyway. Officials said this caused the birds to lose all fear of people, which led to their aggressive quests for foods.
After several months of the turkeys terrorizing the area, one of the birds was captured on Nov. 21 and taken to a nearby wild habitat for safe release. The CDFW said they caught the second turkey a few days later and released it in the same area, which was already home to a flock of other wild turkeys.
CDFW officials said the two turkeys have not been seen around town since and want this situation to remind residents of one important message.
“The moral of the story is stop feeding wildlife,” CDFW’s district wildlife biologist Shelly Blair said. “The people who are doing the feeding are never directly affected, but it’s everyone else – and often the animals themselves – that suffer the consequences.”