When spring comes to Washington, D.C., most think of cardinals, meadowlarks and other small birds lining the wooded paths around the area. Instead, residents have been faced with multiple turkey attacks. And authorities believe it’s the same turkey causing all the ruckus.
Each victim has described the bird as being around three-and-a-half feet tall and is known for rushing up to its victims screeching. While it’s difficult to tell the difference from one turkey to another, most residents are convinced there can only be one culprit.
So far, the turkey in question has been able to avoid every attempt authorities have made to catch it. Park rangers have had the turkey on their radar since November 2021, although back then he wasn’t the threat he is now.
Sue Greeley, a wildlife manager at the U.S. National Arboretum, described the turkey back in those days.
“It was this comedic detective-like situation where he was following and then pretended he was not following.
“Near Thanksgiving, the gentleman [the turkey was following] turned and warned him that if he wasn’t careful, he was going to have him for dinner.”
The turkey disappeared for a few months before reemerging near the Kenilworth Aquatic Gardens as a completely new bird. One with more violent behavior.
Cliff Robinson, one of the turkey’s victims, is a retired court services employee. In April 2022, he was out walking near a small wood between Kenilworth Marsh and the Anacostia River, on the border between Maryland and Washington, D.C., when the bird came out of nowhere.
“I was attacked there. I was trying to get away from him and he came after me. He wouldn’t let me pass,” Robinson said.
Authorities are keen on catching the bird. Their plan is to capture and relocate him somewhere where he can do no harm to people. Until park rangers are able to capture the bird, who knows who or what he’ll go after next.