By: Mike Anderson

Lurkey the turkey has been sighted near Station Rd in Pefferlaw, which means she’s successfully avoided the holiday roasting pan.

That’s good news. The bad news is she’s chasing after cars, and that has some residents concerned about the wild turkey’s safety.

Dianne and John, owners of The Kibble House, a pet food store in Pefferlaw, say the latest rumour is that several folks are planning to capture the hen and bring her to the Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge.

This is probably a good thing. But one hopes they have experience catching a wild turkey, especially an ornery one.

Catching a wild turkey with your bare hands is not advisable. They have very powerful legs and can run at speeds up to 25 mph. There’s also a sharp beak to deal with.

Most experts suggest building a trap or using a net. But it’s probably best to call in a wildlife specialist.

Lurkey has become quite the celebrity in Pefferlaw and is now considered by some to be the town’s unofficial mascot.

And that’s caused a lot of folks to take umbrage with the Post’s story on Dec 16, which described Lurkey as terrorizing the town of Pefferlaw.

While some folks acknowledge Lurkey can be aggressive when she’s hungry, most believe she is harmless.

Various theories have surfaced on social media, including that she was raised in captivity and is therefore not equipped to survive in the wild. This may explain her solitary nature; her flock or rafter is nowhere in sight.

Whatever the case, the situation needs to be resolved before Lurkey, a resident, or a resident’s pet is harmed.

According to the Humane Society, the most important thing you can do to solve a wild turkey problem is not to feed them.

Stop the handouts and convince your neighbours to do the same. Remove unsecured garbage and spilled birdseed. Also, consider removing bird feeders until they move on.

Wild turkeys have a natural “pecking order,” so don’t act fearful. They’ll assume you’re an underling and may chase you or block you from your home or car.

The Humane Society website says you should establish your dominance by “hazing” the wild turkey. Try waving your arms and yelling. Popping open an umbrella also works. Dousing them with water, or using an air horn is also effective.

Unfortunately, in some situations, where wild turkeys become a real menace, they are generally euthanized. Let’s hope this is not necessary.

Photo: Katrina Campbell

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