Staten Island Sees Population Boom In Wild Turkeys
Some Staten Island residents are getting really fed up with the booming wild turkey population in the area. One woman, Fran Russo, who's lived in the Ocean Breeze neighborhood for 25 years, tells The New York Daily News of a surprising development in the Turkey Wars:
Russo has a seasonal idea for turkey control. "They should look out or they will become someone's dinner," she said.
Now some residents have taken matters into their own hands. Around Thanksgiving hungry residents can be seen scooping up the turkeys up and driving away with them, according to Russo.
"I've seen people grab them and put them in their cars always around Thanksgiving time. They are turkeys. It's Thanksgiving. They should look out or they will become someone's dinner," said Russo.
Although it's technically illegal to hunt the turkeys (there are no legal areas to do so on Staten Island), residents have long cried fowl over their gobbling neighbors— of which officials estimate there are about 100 roaming the eastern shore of Staten Island near the South Beach Psychiatric Center— and may be eager to take matters into their own bellies.
The pecking pests became a problem a decade ago when a local woman allegedly released 9 captive turkeys onto the grounds of the psychiatric center. Ever since, according to residents, the turkeys eat garden vegetables, obstruct traffic, roost in trees, lay droppings in yards, scare small children and invite animal cruelty by local teenagers.
"These turkeys are out of control," Angela Foster, who first noticed the invasion a decade ago, told The News. "The filthy animals are like a gang. They take over the street and yards and poop everywhere. It's disgusting."
According to The New York Times the state has unsuccessfully attempted to rub the turkey's eggs in corn oil to stem the population. Officials have also rejected the idea of transporting the turkeys to more rural areas, saying the birds wouldn't adjust well after having become accustomed to human habitats.
The other option the Department of Environmental Conservation is considering is "exterminating [the turkeys] with the questionable second act of harvesting their meat and giving it to a local food pantry"— a method already employed with Prospect Park's geese.