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New Jersey Residents Say Aggressive Wild Turkeys Are Terrorizing Them

TEANECK, N.J. (CBSNewYork)-- It's not Thanksgiving, but Teaneck can't stop talking about turkeys.

"I grabbed the kids and we literally ran for our lives out of the house because we were so scared," Teaneck resident Courtney Lopchinsky told CBS2's Meg Baker.

Lopchinsky said she was sitting at her kitchen table a few weeks ago with two of her children when they spotted a few turkeys on her neighbor's roof off Lakeview Terrace.

"All of a sudden it went straight through the window... we were covered in glass. The turkey was covered in mud and water and kept flapping its wings throwing mud water everywhere," she said.

The aftermath was not a pretty site.

"The sound of the turkey going through the window was the loudest thing. It literally sounded like a car crash -- we didn't expect it," Lopchinksy said.

She isn't the only one with turkey problems.

Teaneck's health officer has fielded more than a dozen calls this year from residents regarding aggressive wild turkeys.

"Some people feel they are intimidating children at bus stops," Health Officer Ken Katter said.

Most of the complaints have come from a synagogue on Roemer Avenue. People said they can't get in or out of their cars without being taunted.

"If you walk towards them I think it's more protecting their area," Teaneck resident Peter Kelly said.

David Jaffe is keeping his dog Wilber a little closer than usual these days.

"We haven't had him attacking any turkeys yet or him being attacked," he said.

A spokeswoman for the New Jersey Environmental Protection Agency told CBS2 that it is mating season for turkeys, so they do tend to be more aggressive. The birds also have a tendency to be attracted to their reflections in cars.

This leaves many wondering how they can protect themselves against the feisty birds.

"Start by not confronting turkeys to start with, you can chase them away making noises, water hoses, or even your leashed dog," Katter said.

"There has to be a peaceful solution. They can't just keep ransacking the neighborhood," Lopchinksy said.

New Jersey Fish and Wildlife said it is working to trap the turkeys and relocate them to state lands.


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