Aggressive wild turkey chasing, attacking residents on Ann Arbor's north side

By Meredith Bruckner - Community News Producer

A resident, who wishes to remain anonymous, captured an encounter from their car in the area.

ANN ARBOR - Going for a run on Huron Parkway near U-M's North Campus? Think again.

Residents of Ann Arbor's north side have taken to social media to share encounters with an aggressive wild turkey who appears to be acting alone. Its distinctive feature is a feather sticking out of its chest.

Encounters have been recorded on Huron Parkway and Baxter Road, with one resident posting on Nextdoor: 

"While I was out for my run on Huron Parkway this morning, I was chased by a very aggressive and large turkey. If it wasn't for a passerby in a car stopping and helping me, I think he would have tried to hurt me."

Residents of U-M's Northwood V graduate student community are used to the birds wandering and feeding in the area, but one man told A4 he was chased by the turkey while holding his infant son when they went out for a walk on the community's grounds.

The bird in question. (Photo: Anonymous Facebook user)

 

Another runner told A4 that the turkey had chased him several times while he was running on Baxter Road, but the bird never physically assaulted him.

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As funny as this all seems, people are worried. 

One Nextdoor user posted a link to the Humane Society of the United States' page titled "What to do about wild turkeys," which lists the following tips:

  • Don't feed wild turkeys
  • Scare away problem turkeys
  • Encourage roosting turkeys to move elsewhere
  • Protect your garden from turkeys
  • Watch out for turkeys on the road

According to the Humane Society, turkeys respond to dominance, so the bigger and louder you appear to them, the more likely they will leave you alone. While they are large and seem dangerous, they tend to scare easily.

Turkeys roam the grounds of U-M's Northwood V on Oct. 13, 2018 (Photo: Meredith Bruckner)

It also lists effective ways to scare them, including -- wait for it -- squirt guns: "It’s easy to scare turkeys away by making noises, popping open an umbrella, throwing tennis balls, or dousing the turkey with water from a hose or squirt gun. A leashed dog may also be effective in scaring a turkey away."

It's not clear whether the city will intervene, but concerned residents seem to be leaning toward getting the city involved in the situation.

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