When Turkeys Attack!
The Destination America channel treated us to some strange, tongue-in-cheek fare the evening before Thanksgiving with a special styled somewhat like numerous others airing on that network, and called “When Turkeys Attack!” The show used home video footage depicting wild turkeys chasing children, grandmothers, and grown men; one chased and kept up with a bicyclist for a short distance, while others attacked mail delivery vehicles in a territorial frenzy.
Now wild turkeys should be distinguished from domesticated turkeys genetically engineered to be walking hunks of meat; these are the descendants of theropods, a carnivorous dinosaur. A wild tom turkey can stand about waist high on a human, and can drop kick you in the head. This could be a bad encounter as the males have razor sharp spurs on the back of their legs that are 1-1/2″ – 2″ long. They can flog you with their wings. Turkeys will try to strike at your head, have acute hearing, and can read subtle behavior rather well.
How then does one defend against a wild turkey attack? It was suggested that you don’t run and flee from them, but rather try to put a physical object between yourself and the offending turkey. Don’t try to fend one off with a flipped jacket, which they may interpret as an invitation to attack. Cover your head, and try to kick at them. In the words of one expert, “Some turkeys are territorial, some defend their women, some are just crazy!”