Do not feed urban wildlife: Protect yourself and wild animals

Bloomington Animal Control is aware of a wild turkey that has been getting a lot of attention at the intersection of 90th Street and Penn Avenue South. Motorists and pedestrians in the area have been feeding the turkey, which is causing some unintended consequences that are dangerous to the turkey and pose a threat to human health and safety at this busy intersection.

While wild animals contribute to our enjoyment of nature and it is fun and unique to spot a turkey in an urban setting, you should not feed them. The turkey has been in the area for some time with no reported issues. However, the turkey now has come to expect the food people are feeding it. As a result, it has become more aggressive – even chasing pedestrians and approaching cars stopped at the intersection, pecking on windows. This behavior poses a potential hazard to the public and to the turkey itself.

 “The turkey could get hit by a car or cause a crash with other vehicles, bicyclists or pedestrians,” Animal Control Coordinator John Carlson said. “Additionally, the quality of the food people are feeding the turkey is poor and not what turkeys should eat.”

Animal Control cannot simply relocate the turkey because it will return to the same territory. The turkey would also have to find natural food sources in other areas, which could be difficult. The turkey cannot be integrated into another flock because of potential disease or other aggressive territorial male turkeys.

The plan is to try to eliminate this food source for the turkey to see if it goes elsewhere on its own.

“We are asking the public not to feed the turkey, so we can hope to have a positive outcome with this situation,” Carlson said.