After a productive life of pooping on people’s lawns, congregating in the middle of the street, scaring people by squawking at them from trees, and stealing cookies from children, up to 100 wild turkeys from Staten Island plan on retiring upstate next month. The move, made possible by a government relocation program started after the USDA started slaughtering some of the birds last year, will begin shortly after the borough’s rafter of turkeys celebrates Turkey Memorial Day on November 26.
The birds have been bothering residents in Ocean Breeze and taking over the grounds of the South Beach Psychiatric Center for years. According to a New York Times story from 2011, “State officials insist that the turkeys are not indigenous and that in 2000, nine turkeys were deposited on the sprawling grounds of the psychiatric center ‘by a local resident who had held them in captivity.’”
Last year, after residents and politicians complained about the government’s plan to exterminate the turkeys, 27 were moved to the And-Hof Animal Sanctuary in Catskill. The additional 100 turkeys being transported north in December will be able to annoy all of their new chicken, duck, goat, and retiree city turkey neighbors by complaining about how there is no place to buy pizza at 3 a.m. out there.