After being nearly wiped out in the 1900s, there has been an incredible wild turkey rebound in the United States. More than 7 million wild turkeys now roam the country, the result of an extraordinary conservation effort. But as I note in my story about their revival, sometimes the turkeys wander into civilization with varying degrees of friendliness. Because the Internet is, among other things, a great place to chronicle history, I’ve collected a digital anthology of great moments in wild turkey attacks.
If there were an Academy Award titled “Best Reaction by a Reporter Being Chased by a Wild Turkey,” it would go to the California TV news producer who went to investigate “Terrible Tom,” a turkey that had been tormenting a neighborhood. A foot chase ensues. My favorite moment: When the victim says, “I can’t throw my camera at him.” This video is a classic of the genre:
In the above video, the news producer is helped by a mail truck driver who tries to divert the turkey. Turkeys seem to despise the U.S. Postal Service. Here is an example — a turkey attacks a mail truck:
Here is another mail truck with a turkey problem. It’s a good thing turkeys don’t get a lot of mail:
“No, don’t let them in,” yells a man being chased by two turkeys. His friend laughs. “Open up my car door, man!” the victim yells. His buddy says, “Maybe I won’t.” This is a good one (with some fowl language):
Turkeys can hear better than humans. Maybe that’s why loud motorcycles annoy them. Fingernails. Chalkboard. Here is a man in traffic, on a motorcycle, fighting off a turkey:
In the spirit of reportorial fairness, I should point out that not all human-to-wild-turkey encounters are attacks.
Some turkeys just want to see what’s in your living room:
Others just want to stroll down the streets of New York City:
And yes, some turkey encounters present opportunities for meals. I think I know what’s on this dog’s mind. It rhymes with winner: