Stephen Ellison

Wild Turkeys Causing Neighborhood Rift Near Concord Hospital

A flock of wild turkeys has been ruffling feathers at John Muir Health Center in Concord, and officials say because the birds' aggressiveness poses a health and safety risk, they plan to trap and euthanize them.

Residents, however, say the turkeys are part of their community.

Patients at the hospital and some neighbors often are faced with groups of the wild gobblers.

"They have chased my kids, and they’re not afraid of cars," resident Vanessa Davidson said. "They’re not super ferocious, but they can get intimidating because they’re big."

John Muir officials say they’ve tried to get the big birds to leave by using motion-sensor sprinklers, repellent and other measures, but nothing has worked. Now, they plan to trap the turkeys and likely euthanize them because they say the birds have become aggressive toward patients and have even damaged property.

Some in the neighborhood are outraged, saying the turkeys are an important part of the community. They’ve been watching the feathered families for the past decade.

"When I learned they might be trapping them and euthanizing them, that makes me sad," neighbor Cassie Zola said. "We go on our morning walks, and we see them. Our son Jaxon loves to wave at them. He actually knows how to do a turkey call."

Charles Dimacali says the birds have lived in the community longer than he has, and everyone knows it's turkey territory.

"They literally are like family," he said. "There are people who care about them and want them to be part of the small community we have here."

John Muir officials said they’ve already tried to trap the turkeys once, but someone released them before USDA picked them up.

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