‘This turkey has literally taken over our life’: Wild turkey terrorizes mobile home community

A turkey appeared in a mobile home park around Thanksgiving of 2021 and hasn't left since.
Published: Jan. 22, 2023 at 6:46 PM EST
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COON RAPIDS, Minn. (WCCO) – The residents of a mobile home park in Minnesota are battling with a wild turkey they said has been terrorizing the neighborhood, even attacking neighbors and chasing cars.

Emily Ahlsten, a resident of the Coon Rapids community, said the neighbors named the bird Reggie.

“We named it Reggie after the pardoned turkey in Free Birds because we thought it was silly; it showed up right after Thanksgiving,” Ahlsten said.

But Reggie is no longer welcome in the neighborhood. Neighbors said Reggie, who first showed up in 2021, is not afraid of people or of water.

Rachael Gross said she lives in fear because of the feathered animal.

“This turkey has literally taken over our life,” she said. “This turkey attacks me every single day. Follows me, goes up my stairs, tries to get into my house. When I leave in my car, it follows my car.”

The lone wild turkey has pecked at neighbors, even drawing blood. It has also chased cars and pecked at the tires.

“It gets on my husband’s truck and follows me,” Gross said. “It rode with me to Chipotle one time.”

Even neighborhood cats have to watch their backs.

“I have to carry my broom and my water and my golf club everywhere I go,” Gross said.

Ahlsten said she worried about the kids who live in the mobile home park.

“My 1-year-old grand baby just moved in with us, and I’m afraid to even take her outside, especially when the weather gets warmer, like, we can’t have people over, we can’t have a barbecue,” she said.

Gross said she would have to come out with the children to the bus stop as they waited to go to school.

“But now they are smart and they carry sticks,” she said.

The neighbors have called the Department of Natural Resources and 911 after the turkey wouldn’t let Gross leave her home for hours.

The DNR recommended taking down bird feeders, but the residents said they are still hoping the bird will trot somewhere else.

“Not safe for anybody including the turkey, so I would just like it to be relocated to a place it could be with other turkeys and not be a nuisance to people or potentially hurt somebody,” Ahlsten said.

The DNR said to not let turkeys like Reggie intimidate you. It recommends scaring the birds so they won’t settle in your neighborhood and not to feed them.

“She’s lonely, and I feel bad, but why can’t they relocate this bird, please?” Gross said.