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Saturday, December 03, 2022

Watch Combatant Wild Turkey Come To A DC Biker

A fearless wild turkey is attacking walkers, joggers and bikers on a trail in Washington, D.C., causing flaps.

Several people being chased, thrashed, clawed and pecked in encounters with the big bird have been reported on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in the north-eastern part of the district.

The turkey came last month for musician Dede Folarin while he was riding his bike in the area.

“He jumped in the air and he almost grabbed my face,” Folarin told local WJLA TV. “He dropped me off the bike and followed me for literally five minutes.”

When the turkey flew past another biker, Folarin recorded the collision on his cell phone—and then followed the bird with a stick when the woman under attack called him for help.

The Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department has put up a sign to discourage people from approaching the turkey.

“Some people don’t listen,” Park Agency’s Victor Davila told WJLA. “They try to go over it and take pictures and stuff like that.”

“There’s an element of humor to it,” DC Department of Energy and Environment wildlife biologist Dan Rauch told The Wall Street Journal while trying to capture the bird. “A terrorist turkey is following the course of a river. If I hadn’t seen the video myself, I would think it’s an urban myth.”

Wild turkeys are making a comeback across the country. But encounters with humans can be problematic. Males fiercely defend their territories and may even guard nests in the spring. They can scratch and scratch people, and puncture the skin with their beaks and claws.

A DC birdwatcher reported on a local blog in February: “A wild turkey that attacked me on the Anacostia Trail last night. I ended up in urgent care with puncture wounds on my legs and I had to get a tetanus shot and Had to get antibiotics. It was scary.”

Tom is apparently becoming increasingly aggressive. Park guide Joe Cashman first encountered the bird with another guide while they were passing through the area.

“We got a kick out of it,” Cashman told the Journal. “Then we started getting complaints. He started getting aggressive. It has become more and more aggressive.”

Now the plan is to capture the turkey and move it. But the bird sometimes tails it high across the Maryland state line, and takes off when it sees the net, Cashman pointed out.

In the meantime, Folarin said he is “preparing himself for the next turkey attack.”

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