A group of aggressive turkeys have begun chasing residents in Stamford, New York, leaving some too afraid to go outside their home.
Screeshot: NBC New York
Aug. 26 (UPI) -- A group of wild turkeys have begun to terrorize a neighborhood in New York, forcing some residents to stay inside.
The wild turkeys first appeared in Stamford three years ago and City Representative Steven Kolenberg said two males have matured and laid claim to the area after residents decided to feed them.
"They've gotten very territorial and aggressive, and they love to chase people now," he told WCBS radio.
Kolenberg said the turkeys have become so intimidating that some residents in the neighborhood are afraid to leave their homes.
"I have been getting several complaints, mostly from older people afraid to leave their houses, and a few joggers who have been chased," he told the Stamford Advocate. "But my biggest concern is for Newfield Elementary School, which is in the middle of these turkeys' territory."
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection wild turkey program biologist Michael Gregonis said the turkeys have lost their fear of humans after being fed.
"When turkeys are fed by people, they become habituated to them and start to see them on the same level as other turkeys," he said. "There's a hierarchy in turkey flocks and each turkey has its place and they fight among themselves."
Gregonis said once turkeys lose their fear of humans they tend to target, children, the elderly and mail carriers due to their regular routine.
Kolenberg has turned to Stamford Animal Control for help to capture and relocate the turkeys and urged residents to stop feeding them.
"It's a public safety issue at this point," he said. "We need the community to come together, stop feeding the turkeys, and if they still continue to come around, we need to harass them and push them out and make it uncomfortable for these turkeys to be in our neighborhood."