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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

When Turkeys Attack: Thanksgiving's Main Dish is Pissed

Posted By on Tue, Nov 25, 2014 at 12:47 PM

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Some preteens we knew very well used to taunt a turkey by waving a blue Members Only jacket in front of the giant, feathered beast — waiting for the spark of rage in his little peanut-brain. Then we the group of 12 year olds would race across the Petaluma-farm field and jump up onto a giant trampoline, while the raging turkey would either perch on the edge of the metal rim or peck at the dirt underneath — where he'd soon forget why he was angry. Naturally, the Members Only jacket would come out again and spark another round of exhilarating tag where Terrible Tom was always "it."

But for those who find a Butterball coming up behind you — a giant, loud, fluttering mass of feathers and terror — disconcerting, here are some tips for how to deal with the numerous turkeys roaming the Bay Area.

First off, if you're wondering why turkeys try to attack people, according to California Department of Fish and Wildlife Public Information Officer Andrew Hughan, they think you're after the hens. 

"They think [people] are other turkeys and a threat to their females," says Hughan.

That's right, our almost national bird thinks you're a giant bird. But while they may chase after you, and it can be frightening (they are loud, fast, large, and can fly), it's best to simply run from them. 

While Hughan has never heard of anyone being seriously injured by turkeys, if the bird was to make contact with you, fight back and leave the area. Maybe these people should have heeded that warning:

This reporter went after the story, and then the story came after her:
This turkey obviously prefers FedEx:

Even highway patrol officers are no match for these Butterballs:

We hope you have a great Thanksgiving!
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About The Author

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie McWilliams

Mollie is the Web Editor and has been with SF Weekly since 2010.


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