Wild Turkeys, Reintroduced by Government, Now Threaten Government Mail Delivery

(p. A25) HILLSDALE, N.J. — In some neighborhoods of this placid New Jersey borough in Bergen County, they are seemingly everywhere — waddling by the dozen in the road, perched on car roofs, pecking at the tires of delivery trucks.
But wild turkeys, which were wiped out in the state by the mid-1800s, put on their most brazen display on Tuesday [Feb., 16, 2016], when a letter carrier felt trapped in his truck and telephoned his boss for help.
“Hey sarge,” the postmaster said in a 911 call to the Hillsdale Police Department. “You’re not going to believe this, but I got a carrier that’s being attacked by wild turkeys and won’t let him deliver the mail.”
The letter carrier, who was not identified, was inside his truck on Esplanade Drive, surrounded by four or five turkeys, when two officers arrived, according to Capt. Sean Smith of the Police Department. “The first officer attempted to blow the siren and that didn’t work,” he said on Thursday. “Then the other officer got out of his car and ran aggressively toward the turkeys and that did the trick.”
. . .
While New Jersey environmental officials say they are unaware of anyone’s being physically harmed by a turkey, the large birds are intimidating. The state’s Department of Environmental Protection, which reintroduced turkeys to the state in the 1970s, says that there are now about 25,000 statewide. “It’s a success story,” said Larry Hajna, a spokesman for the environmental agency.
. . .
. . . some local officials and residents say face-to-face turkey encounters are increasing and can be scary. The postmaster who placed the 911 call in Hillsdale told the police that the turkey situation was “crazy.” “I mean, they’re actually attacking, biting,” he said. “They chase the trucks — everything.” The police sergeant simply said, “Wow.”

For the full story, see:
LISA W. FODERARO. “Brazen as They Are Wild, Turkeys Greet Neighbors.” The New York Times (Fri., FEB. 19, 2016): A25.
(Note: ellipses, and bracketed date, added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date FEB. 18, 2016, and has the title “Turkeys, Running Amok, Are a ‘Success Story’ in New Jersey.”)

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