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California city hunting aggressive turkey that forced park closure

Aug. 13 (UPI) -- Officials in a California said they are attempting to capture and relocate a wild turkey that was a longtime beloved resident before becoming so aggressive he forced the closure of a local park.

Residents of the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland said Gerald the turkey has been a longtime resident of the area and was beloved by locals before he started becoming territorial and aggressive toward humans earlier in the summer -- about the time turkey mating season began.

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Gerald's behavior became so aggressive that city officials ordered the closing of the neighborhood's Morcom Rose Garden.

"He's still there," Ann Dunn, director of Oakland Animal Services, told the East Bay Times. "A Department of Fish and Wildlife officer tried to trap him and couldn't, so he gave up."

Officials said efforts are underway to capture and relocate the turkey.

"Right now, the city of Oakland is trying to catch Gerald," Ken Paglia, spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told KGO-TV. "And if they do catch him, then my department, Department of Fish and Wildlife, has permission from an East Bay property owner to relocate Gerald there."

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Residents said Gerald's behavior calmed as turkey mating season came to a close, but officials said they still want him relocated in case he becomes aggressive again.

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