If you see a turkey in a dream, it is supposed to herald good things on the horizon — abundance, and/or renewal, and/or the coming of a festive occasion, like for example a "holiday feast." If you see a gobble of turkeys dancing on your lawn, I would assume you could read those same meanings into it, although the residents of Toms River, New Jersey, may disagree. A plague of wild turkeys has descended upon their township, with birds blanketing the driveways in shit and generally menacing anyone who tries to leave their house.
"They have come close to harming my family and friends, ruined my cars, trashed my yard and much more," local baseball legend Todd Frazier, whom you may know as "the ToddFather," tweeted on Saturday. As you can see from this picture he shared on Sunday, the turkeys have taken a liking to his SUV. A real 30-to-50-feral-hogs situation seems to be developing: Frazier told News 12 New Jersey that he and his family "actually got attacked by a couple of them a year ago," and that he worries primarily for his three young children.
The fowl have apparently been running roughshod over the community's lawns, "walk[ing] around our neighborhood like they own it ," as one of Frazier's neighbors put it in a reply to his tweet. The turkeys appear especially suspicious of black vehicles, for which they probably have their reasons. "I can't get out of my door," another Ocean County resident attested. "Sometimes I can't get out of my car. They go to attack you."
They walk around our neighborhood like they own it. 🙄 pic.twitter.com/CrSBrYEyzj— Michelle McTaggart (@MichelleMcTagg4) November 10, 2019
Why do NJ turkeys hate black cars? I was surrounded!!! pic.twitter.com/kTrRQewDjE— Sandy Azzollini McKinley (@sazzollini) November 10, 2019
Their presence has reportedly been an ongoing issue, one that's been growing worse for years:
@FlavaFraz21 This is was from March 1st of this year. About a block from you. About 20 something turkeys. Had my driveway covered in Turkey crap. This was moving day...I guess they were saying goodbye. pic.twitter.com/eNITbbVLGD— Michael Reilly (@SERVPRO_Reilly) November 11, 2019
Frazier tweeted directly at NJ Governor Phil Murphy, noting that his pleas to NJ Fish and Wildlife have gone unanswered. Gothamist has contacted the office to determine whether or not they have a turkey relocation plan in the pipeline, and we will update if/when we hear back. Local animal control allegedly lacks jurisdiction to trap wildlife, and is therefore powerless against the scourge.
Wild turkeys are big — 16-24 pounds being the average size for a male "tom," i.e. roughly the size of a small dog — and they are fast, the same spindly legs that make them look larger than they actually are enabling them to run at 20mph speeds. Whereas a person who has not been bullied by these overlarge, belligerent specimen might laugh them off as the harbinger of a robust Thanksgiving to come, Toms River residents — and really any of you who live in the growing number of U.S. suburbs where wild turkeys have lately expanded their dominion — may view them as "ugly hooligan nuisance birds" enamored of "aggressive dramas," to borrow the Scientific American's description.
Staten Island, for example, has been under turkey siege for months, with plans to move the beasties having stalled over concerns about their new home's preparedness. And-Hof Animal Sanctuary in the Catskills is supposed to receive them, but officials reportedly worry that the site isn't sufficiently secure, and these avian gremlins will get loose and continue their chaos campaign upstate: Wild turkeys enjoy beating up cars, conferencing in roads to the detriment of traffic flow, digging up gardens, and treating the whole world as their toilet. (Which, yes, it is.)
So! Not to panic you or anything, but if you find yourself involuntarily co-habitating with an aggressive gang of wild turkeys, Mr. Hitchcock would like to say a few words to you: