Aggressive Turkey Fighting D.C. Residents

He’s running

Strutting Tom Turkey, in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania PA urban / suburban wildlife
District of Gobble-umbia

If you are D.C. resident and encounter a wild turkey on the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail, do not be alarmed. He might hurt you — he has already sent one person to urgent care — but he is mostly chilling in his natural habitat.

A new report from the Washington Post explains that this male turkey, while being frightening and occasionally aggressive, is a good sign. “The ecosystem is improving, and so wild turkeys are part of that ecosystem,” said Joe Cashman, a park guide at the Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens.

Despite the fact that this is a good thing for the ecosystem, locals are not as into it. The turkey, who does not yet have a cutesy name like Lurkey or something, is appearing on the trail and frightening people who just wanted to go for a stroll or a bike ride.

One man described encountering Lurkey (that’s his name now) on a bike ride, and being lunged at by the bird. The man had to throw two phones and a radio at Lurkey before settling on the nuclear option and throwing his entire bike at him.

Another man saw Lurkey that same day, and was shocked at how fast he could run. “Man, was it fast. I started running and realized it was gaining on me,” he told the Post.

That is unsurprising, because turkeys can run up to 25 miles per hour. Can you do that? Probably not, so it’s best not to try and outrun Lurkey if you see him. The best thing you can do is make yourself big and make noise. You know, the same thing you do if you come face to face with a bear.

I don’t know anything about turkeys except for everything that I’ve learned today, but I feel confident in saying that the trail is Lurkey’s now. Experts are trying to remove him from the park, but have yet to nab him. I say let him keep his home, it’s us who should have to adjust. You want to ride your bike? Well, you might get attacked by a turkey. Going on a walk because you’re bored? Your day is about to get a lot more exciting, my friend.