Ashwaubenon Public Safety asking people to stop feeding neighborhood turkey who won't leave

Published: Oct. 25, 2018 at 8:52 PM CDT
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One turkey has made an Ashwaubenon neighborhood his home for the last few months. Some people in that neighborhood have made it official, feeding him and even creating a Facebook page for him, naming him ‘Smoked Turkey.’ Now police say the turkey is a threat to public safety.

Neighbors say ‘Smoke’ first showed up in the spring, and never left. Some say he didn't blend in with the other flocks of turkeys in the area.

"He seems to be like estranged from them so he's kind of off on his own, so yeah he just does his own thing and they probably kicked him out of the gang I don't know, maybe it’s because he is a little obnoxious, but I think that's enduring to him," said Tammy Czachor, who spots ‘Smoke’ in the neighborhood a few days each week.

‘Smoke’ likes to interrupt traffic, and police say it's probably because people in the area are continually feeding him.

"We've had people in cars stopping and throwing bread out the windows and things like that. Don't do that, it's not doing that turkey any favors, it's teaching that turkey to stay on the roadways and that's going to get that turkey killed," said Captain Jody Crocker, Ashwaubenon Public Safety.

"I think it's like his hobby to go out there when it's like busy and people are getting home from work and trying to rush through traffic, he somehow finds the time to do it on busy hours," Czachor says.

According to village ordinance, t's illegal to feed wild deer and turkeys in Ashwaubenon. Police say you could get a $187 fine.

"We are getting to that point where if we keep getting complaints or have problems, it's going to be a complaint oriented deal that we'll have to write a ticket for,” said Crocker.

Even with public safety warning people not to feed ‘Smoke,’ those who love him say he's not causing any harm.

"I think at this point he's already been tamed and he's used to being around people, so I think trying to you know transplanting him somewhere else, I don't see the point in it," said Czachor.

Some have even gone as far as getting turkey crossing signs to put on their yards.

"He just doesn't have any fear. I've never seen him personally attack anybody, but you know he has chased cars or pecked at you know people on bikes, but I've never seen him do anything violent," added Czachor.

"It really is a public safety problem, but it's also Mother Nature, and if people leave Mother Nature alone, it will mend itself," Crocker said.