A day of reckoning has come for some of Staten Island's roving gangs of wild turkeys. Starting yesterday, the USDA began rounding up the rogue birds that have been chilling on the lawn of the South Beach Psychiatric Center, according to the Staten Island Advance. The "capture removal" operation will transport the birds to a slaughterhouse; relocation wasn't an option, as the flock contains "hybrid turkeys." Turkey Turf Troubles?
According to a psychiatric center worker, USDA officials "were picking the turkeys up by their necks and feet, and throwing them into plastic crates." USDA spokeswoman Carol Bannerman puts it a bit more gently, explaining that turkeys are herded into temporary corrals made of netting, hand-captured, and placed in poultry crates." From there, the doomed fowl head to a processing facility where their meat will be tested for "suitability for donation for human consumption."
Officials cite "excessive feces" and general turkey aggression as reason for the culling. Some locals, many fearing for their lives, have wanted the birds removed; others enjoy Instagramming them; and still others enjoy illegally eating them. If the meat passes inspection, some lucky (?) folks will get to taste true Staten Island terroir, and it's probably better than dump goat!