Turkey Rampage in Virginia

Tom Turkey will not be controlled

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A wild turkey in Loudoun County seems to be attracted to cars and flashing lights, and it's not even mating season.

    The turkeys are watching you. They know what you're up to in a few weeks. And they're waiting. Plotting. Preparing their feathered onslaught. Thanksgiving is coming, and this time they're fighting back.

    An angry family of turkeys that roosts in Landsdowne, Va., has taken to attacking commuters, reports the Loudoun Times. One of the turkeys has been running along the side of the busy road, scaring the snot out of confused commuters as it has chased them like a deranged, but feathered, dog.

    Yesterday, it even went after the police. 

    Turkey Chases Car

    [DC] Turkey Chases Car
    A turkey terrorizes cars in Loudoun County.

    [T]he turkey was pecking at a sheriff's deputy's car, looking through the passenger window at the deputy barricaded inside.

    "The officer said this turkey wouldn't leave him alone," [Animal Control Officer Virginia Newsome]  said.

    Turkey Conquers Animal Control Vehicle

    [DC] Turkey Conquers Animal Control Vehicle
    A turkey conquers the Loudoun County Animal Control wagon.

    Newsome approached. The turkey stood his ground.

    "He just looked right at me and wasn't concerned a bit," she said.

    She chased him over toward Janelia Farm Boulevard. The deputy left. Newsome got in her car. Mission accomplished.

    Or not.

    "I started to pull away," she said, "and it was like a slow-motion part of a movie where my turkey boyfriend came running back to me. He was booking it, like the Roadrunner. He was just running as fast as he could toward my truck. I'm thinking, 'Is this really happening?'

    "I was sure I could outrun him. But before I knew it he was in front of my truck and wouldn't let me by."

    The turkey started pecking at her door, stretching his neck to look in the window.

    They're on to us!  They smell the cranberry and the gravy, and they're not going to take it laying down with their necks out.

    When they approached the untimid turkey later with a net, the bird's primal instincts took root:

    "He really wasn't that afraid of us, but he knew something was up," she said. "He took one look at the net and jumped on top of my truck.

    "Now he's king of the mountain on top of my truck. He was doing this strut turkeys do … like when they want to mate. It was almost like he wanted to mate with my truck. He had an affinity for my flashing strobe light."

    The turkey – all 20 pounds or so of it – stood on top of her truck, pecking at the light and fluffing out its feathers.

    After a third attempt, they were able to lure the turkey out of traffic and into a field, by having Tom follow the officer's truck.

    Is this just the first sign of turkey rebellion?  Is there a larger plot at hand?  If you travel on Route 7, watch out.