Gang of turkeys terrorizes Athens neighborhood

Wildlife officers have to take out the leaders to keep residents safe

Friday, Jan. 29, 2010 8:33 AM
Last updated 3:12 PM
  • Follow Latest News

 

Back | Next
Turkeys walk through Athens neighborhood earlier this week.  Kip Carter/ Special
Kip Carter/ Special
Turkeys walk through Athens neighborhood earlier this week.

ATHENS, Ga. - Residents of an Athens neighborhood say they might have found relief from a gang that laid siege to the area over the past few months, kicking and biting at people, jamming up traffic and chasing terrified residents into their homes.

The gang - that's what the U.S. Geological Survey calls a flock of wild turkeys - went after 68-year-old Carol Herzog on Monday, she said.

"I was outside, and the two toms kept walking toward me, pushing me backwards," Herzog said. "They were flying up to my face as I kept backing up. I was scared to death."

Officers with the state Department of Natural Resources took down both toms in the gang of six Tuesday morning, likely putting an end to the gang's rampage.

Officers visited the Olde Lexington Gardens subdivision off Old Lexington Road to investigate complaints about the birds, and shot the toms after they became aggressive.

This was the first time DNR officers put down turkeys, said DNR wildlife biologist Alex Coley.

Then again, the DNR doesn't get too many calls about turkeys disturbing the peace, he said.

"You can't relocate a nuisance animal, so we had to euthanize them," Coley said. "They were very aggressive, which, at this time of year, is extremely rare."

Turkeys typically shy away from humans, but this gang had so much human interaction that they had no fear, Coley said. Neighbors who fed the turkeys only made them more aggressive.

The turkeys also went yard-to-yard, looting bird feeders and snacking on grass seed, said Kip Carter, the president of Olde Lexington Gardens' homeowners' association.

Almost every evening, Carter and his family watched the gang of six - the two toms leading the way - cross through an acre of woods and come into his backyard.

"The first time we saw them was last year, when they took to our trees and climbed up on our roof," Carter said. "I tried spraying them with a garden hose and chasing them away with a broom, but they kept coming back."

Monday evening was no different. Carter waited in his backyard with broom in hand, and when the toms charged, he fought back.

Soon Carter had the upper hand - though he never actually hit the turkeys - and chased the gang into a neighboring yard. His neighbor, Will McKinney, came out of his house wielding a pool cue and yelling for the gang to get off his lawn.

The turkeys obliged and ran down Elderberry Circle toward Herzog's house.

"We've got to do something about these turkeys," McKinney said afterward. "They're just a nuisance."

Left alone, the four hens should keep their distance from their human neighbors, Coley said. But with mating season around the corner, they could attract another tom or two and start a new gang, he said.

For now, Herzog and her neighbors can go back to walking around the neighborhood or gardening in their yards without having to watch their backs.

"I've been feeling like a prisoner in my own home," Herzog said. "I had to look out the window to make sure they weren't out there ...

"If you're attacked by a person, there's usually some reasoning, but a turkey has no reason."

Comments (16) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 01/29/10 - 11:10 am
0
0
They need a chronic nuisance

They need a chronic nuisance poultry ordinance...

anotherlook
90
Points
anotherlook 01/29/10 - 11:14 am
0
0
I say fight back! And if you

I say fight back! And if you get dinner out of it, so much the better!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 01/29/10 - 11:31 am
0
0
Reparations - for

Reparations - for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

bettyboop
7
Points
bettyboop 01/29/10 - 11:32 am
0
0
funny stuff !!

funny stuff !!

Ushouldnthave
0
Points
Ushouldnthave 01/29/10 - 11:34 am
0
0
Sounds like the people are

Sounds like the people are guilty of encroachment. 10 yards; remains 3rd down.

Rolling Eyes
245
Points
Rolling Eyes 01/29/10 - 11:36 am
0
0
They say that they euthanized

They say that they euthanized them? Most likely the turkeys are in somebody's freezer ready to be cooked!

Boogaloo
1
Points
Boogaloo 01/29/10 - 12:35 pm
0
0
And I thought we had a gang

And I thought we had a gang problem in Augusta. I guess the UGA football team are not the only turkeys in Athens.

dominionfs
0
Points
dominionfs 01/29/10 - 01:11 pm
0
0
This is news, why? We have

This is news, why? We have had turkeys causing problems in Augusta for years. Turkeys with names like Deke, Fred and Betty.

Bond..James..Bond
0
Points
Bond..James..Bond 01/29/10 - 06:20 pm
0
0
LOL at the last 2 comments!

LOL at the last 2 comments!

CobaltGeorge
161031
Points
CobaltGeorge 01/29/10 - 08:11 pm
0
0
"Took down both toms in the

"Took down both toms in the gang of six Tuesday morning, likely putting an end to the gang's rampage"."But with mating season around the corner, they could attract another tom or two and start a new gang," Also sounds like an incident in Augusta area that you read about in the AC daily.

KSL
131379
Points
KSL 01/29/10 - 08:26 pm
0
0
Turks attacking Athenians!

Turks attacking Athenians! Who would have thought?

corgimom
33233
Points
corgimom 01/29/10 - 09:48 pm
0
0
"Neighbors who fed the

"Neighbors who fed the turkeys only made them more aggressive." That's the problem right there. Wild animals aren't "cute".

notsurprised
88
Points
notsurprised 01/29/10 - 10:45 pm
0
0
Nothing that a 12 gauge with

Nothing that a 12 gauge with bird shot can't handle. Would actually love to hunt them. Doesnt sound like it would be too hard of a hunt!

AJ1
0
Points
AJ1 01/30/10 - 01:20 am
0
0
From the headline, I though

From the headline, I though ACORN census workers were on the job already!

Jake
32770
Points
Jake 01/30/10 - 02:11 am
0
0
Very witty KSL, love it.

Very witty KSL, love it.

mable8
2
Points
mable8 01/30/10 - 03:25 am
0
0
Somebody, quick--notify the

Somebody, quick--notify the bigO we have another terror group to ponder: turkeys, no less! Or could the Fish and Wildlife allow open season on these critters; at least some would have food on the table (and is more cost effective too).

Back to Top

Top headlines

SRS shipments halted until 2016

Savannah River Site can't resume shipments of Cold War nuclear waste materials to an underground repository in New Mexico until at least 2016 when the federal government reopens the facility to ...
Search Augusta jobs