Ferocious Turkey Attacks New Jersey Town—And Residents Can’t Do a Thing About It Amid Shutdown

A ferocious turkey has been terrorizing the residents of a small town in New Jersey—but until the government reopens, there’s not much that can be done, local affiliate CBS2 reports. “He ran after the delivery people so we stopped getting mail and Christmas presents this year,” one Scotch Plains resident told CBS2. Another added, “Whenever we come out our door, we actually carry a golf club because it’s the only thing that kind of shoos him away. So before we take the babies out in the carriers that weigh about 30 pounds, we come out first, walk around our car, shoo the turkey away, make sure he’s a safe distance and then go inside, get the babies to put in the car. And this happens every day.” Other residents are more supportive of the bird: “It’s kind of cute actually,” one said.

Authorities say that the bird is likely no longer afraid of humans. But the first time the USDA tried to study the bird, they were stopped by protesters—and although they planned to return a second time, they’ve been stymied by the government shutdown. Authorities say that once the bird is finally captured, it will probably have to be euthanized, given its affinity for humans. They suspect some residents are secretly feeding their fowl friend, which is teaching the bird to associate humans with food.