On an island eight miles south of Manhattan- venerated for its iconic orange ferry, close-knit Italian community/mafiosos and euphoria-inducing pizza- exists a booming colony of wild turkeys. Yes, an ever-expanding team of ornery, gobbling grouse that has become the borough’s waddling neighborhood gang.
Their presence in Staten Island first allegedly began in 1999, when a woman released her nine pet turkeys onto the psychiatric center’s grounds. Through copious copulation, these beady-eyed feathered fowl have become as ubiquitous as the borough’s gel-slicked guidos
, and are causing mayhem. According to exasperated locals’ reports, the head-bobbing turkeys squabble loudly before sunrise, peck and destroy roofs and cars, stand in the middle of traffic, and crap on peoples’ yards.
“It was straight out of Cujo,” dental assistant Gina told the Daily News
. “I'm sitting in my car Facebooking on my phone when turkeys jumped on my windshield. I screamed like I was being murdered.”
For some residents, relocation is their likeliest option. “I am thinking of moving,” resident Fara Mitchell told SI Live
. “I know everybody laughs; even I laugh. But when I think about it, I cringe. My friends who got married and moved to Jersey say, ‘See what happens when you stay on Staten Island?’”
According to the DEC, there around 100 meaty-beaked, wild waddlers
in the island’s Ocean Breeze neighborhood- enough to motivate the state to take action. Unsuccessful attempts include smearing the eggs with corn oil to prevent hatching, scaring off turkeys with water hoses, and asking residents to vote on the turkeys’ fate via a survey. Options on the survey range from educating residents on how to coexist with their mischievous two-legged neighbors to slaughtering them all and donating the meat.
But according to CBS reports
, the turkeys can’t be eaten since they’re known to ingest fertilizer, insecticide and motor oil. Plus, they can’t be relocated to more bucolic environments since they’ve become acclimated to a human habitat, i.e. grazing on their trash and crapping on their lawns. Despite the turkey’s noted poison consumption, residents have been seen stuffing the turkeys in their cars and driving away. Of course, these residents simply prefer a side of animal manure with their sweet potatoes. To each his own.
But like any gang, these turkey terrorizers can’t last forever. It’s time they hit the mattresses with the island’s top Dons. And with enough capos ready and armed, perhaps the gobbling and waddling colony can be, well, how do you say it? Snuffed out.