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NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife deployed to Toms River to wrangle wild turkeys

Posted: 6:39 PM, Nov 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-14 18:39:49-05

TOMS RIVER, NJ — You’d think that this close to Thanksgiving, turkeys would lay low, but the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife is currently working to wrangle some wild turkeys that have been wreaking havoc on a Toms River neighborhood.

The birds have dented cars, blocked roads and scared residents.

"You can not come out of the house if they are out there because they may attack," said Jenny Blake, a resident of Holiday City, a 55-and-over adult neighborhood.

So how are officials going to catch the birds?

"DFW uses trails of corn to establish a baiting routine for the turkeys prior to trapping them using a drop net," said Caryn Shinske, a spokeswoman for the Department of Environmental Protection. "Establishing this new behavior pattern for the turkeys can take several weeks."

PIX11 counted over 20 turkeys roving around the neighborhood Thursday.

"I have seen them holding up traffic," said Blake. "And tapping on my back window."

One neighbor had to have his bumper replaced after a turkey pecked at it. It’s the male birds - or tom turkeys - that often see their own reflection and attack because they think it is another male bird.

The Dept. of Environmental Protection is urging the public not to feed the turkeys. If they do get aggressive, they recommend using a garden hose, broom or loud noises to scare them away.

Residents can also place cardboard over windows to prevent reflections.

Wild turkeys are common in New Jersey, an estimated 20 to 30,000 live in the state.