Complaints About Turkey Attacks On The Rise In Brookline
BROOKLINE (CBS) - Neighbors are on the offensive in Brookline after what some residents are describing as aggressive turkeys.
"They were attacking the vehicle," Karen Halvorson said outside her home in the Aspinwall Hill neighborhood.
After getting in her truck, a neighbor came and ran the birds off but it didn't stop there.
"Then, the turkeys came and started attacking my front door," she said.
A second run-in came a few weeks ago as she walked nearby.
"I looked back and three of them charged me," she explained.
She moved to the center of the street to avoid the animals, but it wasn't enough.
"The turkey flew in my face and scratched my neck," she said.
Halvorson refuses to give up her walks so she has taken precautions.
"I went down to the hiking store and I got a hiking stick with a big ball on top of it. I walk with it all the time and now I never go without my phone," she said.
At different spots near the Halvorson house, Karen's husband cut piles of sticks. Those, too, are for protection.
"At least we can throw a stick at them and run into the house," said Halvorson.
Complaints to Brookline Police about wild turkeys have doubled in the past two months.
"Some people going to work and they've been chased by turkeys," said Brookline Animal Control Officer Pierre Verrier.
He spends nearly every morning trying to keep the animals away from students at Brookline High School.
"Sometimes I even take a tennis racket to try and shoo them out," he said.
Verrier says there are basic things you can do to protect yourself. If you see a turkey, move to the other side of the street. Make noise or spray the turkey with water.
Whatever you do, don't feed them or try to take a picture.
"There was a gentleman who took a picture with a flash and they flew right into his face."
There are two turkey hunting seasons a year in Massachusetts. But in metropolitan areas, with firearm restrictions, that doesn't help.
A frustrated Karen Halvorson is now working with Brookline town leaders to organize a meeting about the problem. Neighbors need guidance and an opportunity to vent, she said.
"I can't believe we're living this way," she said. Town Selectman Nancy Daly is helping coordinate the gathering which she said will likely be held December 6. She wants anyone who has had a run-in with a turkey to attend and tell their story.
A similar meeting was held last week in Newton, where aggressive turkey reports are on the rise as well.
The Newton meeting focused on prevention, like making sure there are no loose food scraps near compost piles and keeping lids on all trash bins.
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