FREMONT (KPIX) — Many Bay Area towns and cities seeing more wild turkeys than usual this year. In Fremont, one fed-up homeowner says a turkey attacked him.
In the past few years, the Warm Springs neighborhood in Fremont hasn’t been the same since a gang moved in.
Hershel Abelman owns an apartment building in the neighborhood.
“I can’t go after them unless I’m carrying a broom or some other show of force that will get them running out of here,” he says. “ And then they don’t run that far.”
Daniel Jaramillo says he usually says hello to them but one day he didn’t.
“And I don’t know if he got upset but he attacked me. He jumped on my back,” says Jaramillo. “The same turkey attacked the mailman, attacked my neighbor. The turkeys were nice in the beginning when they had little babies but now they’re getting aggressive.”
It’s happening in cities and towns all over the Bay Area. Wild turkeys have come down out of the hills and taken up residence in urban neighborhoods.
“They’re definitely comfortable. I don’t know if they’re getting fed around here or what but they’re definitely not afraid,” says Warm Springs resident Colin Stankus.
The Lindsay Wildlife Center often rescues large birds found in the urban interface. But just this morning, Assistant Manager Jenna Tidd was held up in traffic when a flock of wild turkeys decided to take a stroll through downtown Walnut Creek. Those who are familiar with the birds say this kind of bold behavior happens when people start feeding them.
“They’re going to be aggressive anywhere they’ve lost their fear, they’re being fed and they feel comfortable,” says Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager Amber Engel. “They are going to protect their territory.”
And they may even attack. Daniel got a deep gash from his run-in with the angry male. If that happens, experts advise you hold your ground, raise your arms to look bigger and make loud noises. And while it may seem unfair on the eve of Thanksgiving, they also say the worst thing you can do is feed them.