Marauding turkeys in the news, along with turtles, camels and reindeer

St. Paul turkey on St. Anthony Avenue

St. Paul turkey on St. Anthony Avenue

This week’s news is going to the dogs — and the turkeys, turtles, camels, reindeer, donkeys and sheep.The dogs? Those would be 15 purebred golden retrievers, rescued from the streets of Istanbul, Turkey, where tens of thousands of stray dogs live. The golden retrievers arrived in Minnesota, ready for adoption in October — and they may not be the last.

The Turkish dogs may be tame, but Hutchinson is being terrorized by wild turkeys, according to Crow River Media. One local woman told the city council that she has counted 131 invaders, that the turkeys chase and peck at her car and “just raised hell with my house.” She said she doesn’t feel safe in her house any longer because of what the newspaper calls “feathered plunderers.”

Looking for a ride?

Looking for a ride?

Wild turkeys were once rare n Minnesota, but the population has grown since the early 1970s, now reaching an estimated 70,000 birds. They roam throughout the state, including the Twin Cities. According to the DNR, the adolescent males, called jakes, are usually the crew that gets aggressive, chasing homeowners, children and pets. What to do? “Adult humans may drive off or deter these aggressive birds with bold action by forcefully fending them off with brooms or other non-injurious implements,” advises the DNR And if that doesn’t work, I guess you can always take the problem to the city council.

In slower news, the DNR charged three alleged turtle poachers from Frazee, Minnesota on November 2. The case, which seems to have moved at a turtle’s pace, started back in June, when DNR officers found “23 live snapping turtles (later released by the DNR), 243 snapping turtle shells, and 291 (10-pound) packages of turtle meat.” Snapping turtles are fair game at most times of the year, but not in May and June, so the three are charged with taking snapping turtles during the protected season.

And what about the camels? From Thanksgiving to Christmas, animal rentals soar. Petting zoos and farms furnish animals for Nativity scenes at churches. A group of animals goes for $325 an hour in Kentucky and Ohio, according to Associated Press. Camels may cost more, as they’re in particularly high demand. Reindeer are popular, too — a Knoxville farmer said he rents out a pair of reindeer for $1500 for four hours.

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