Wild turkeys return to New England

Nov. 25, 2004 at 4:32 PM
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WOBURN, Mass., Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Massachusetts' wild turkeys, which heralded Thanksgiving before vanishing for a century, have returned home to the pleasant surprise of ecologists.

The event is a triumph of ecological management, but to some others the birds are a nuisance, reports the Washington Post.

Before their reappearance, the last recorded wild turkey was reported killed in western Massachusetts in 1851. Famed nature lover Henry David Thoreau lamented the loss, saying he felt like he was living in an "emasculated country."

But with their return, the turkeys' demise may prove exaggerated. In Massachusetts alone, there are now about 20,000 birds roaming the state's back country and occasionally its back yards, giving residents both a thrill and a minor headache, the report said.

"The problems come when people feed them. Then the turkeys get comfortable and you hear about them chasing people around, roosting on houses and getting into vegetable gardens," said James E. Cardoza of the state's wildlife department.

Nationwide, the population of the once-dwindling species now stands at about 6 million.

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