Cambridge battles turkey overload

City council actually considering legislation

Boston's Morning Show with Kim & VB
September 21, 2017 - 8:13 am

The Cambridge city council voted on Monday night to have City Manager Louis DePasquale and the Cambridge Animal Commission look into policies on "urban wildlife management" in response to an influx of turkeys within the city limits. As of now the city is undecided on how to handle a problem which they say their hands are tied on due to state law.

Reports of turkeys holding up traffic and harassing pedestrians around this city, along with several complaints about rabbits overturning neighborhood parks and gardens, have prompted city residents to complain that something needs to be done. But unlike rats and other pests, animals deemed "wildlife" cannot be harmed in accordance with Massachusetts state law.

One city counselor,  Dennis Carlone, stated outside the meeting "It was like the turkey was waiting for me. They're clearly strategizing. And I agree, we need to think of some humane way to deal with this."

The Turkey problem dates back to 1851, when wild turkeys were considered extinct. 37 turkeys were captured in New York and released into the Berkshires. The State Division of Fisheries and Wildlife pursued aggressive conversation tactics over the next 150 years which has led to over 25,000 wild turkeys roaming. Towns and cities around the state are dealing with similar issues, with turkey attacks being reported in Foxboro, Brookline and even Dorchester.




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