- A wild turkey has evaded capture in Johnston, Rhode Island, for six months and continues to cause havoc in the town.
- The turkey has trapped people in their cars, attacked vehicles, and blocked entrances to buildings.
- The town’s mayor has described it as “like Al Capone and John Dillinger” and thinks that it is staying in the town as people keep feeding it things like Starbucks muffins.
- The bird is something of a local joke: It received 69 votes for mayor.
A wild turkey has been causing havoc in a Rhode Island town for six months, where it has been blocking traffic, chasing people, and stopping them paying taxes.
Three wild turkeys arrived in the town of Johnston in May, but one managed to evade permanent capture the entire time by deploying a number of tactics, including being able to recognise the animal control van, the Guardian reported.
The turkey has evaded town officials, halted traffic, and even interfered with people who were trying to enter the town hall to pay their taxes, the newspaper added.
It has also chased a fireman, attacked cars because it saw its reflection, and flown onto telephone poles and trees to evade capture in the past.
Officers have started to use an undercover vehicle and a launcher that can fire out nets to try to capture the turkey, Johnston mayor Joseph Polisena told the Guardian. But those attempts have been unsuccessful so far.
The turkey even managed to trap Polisena’s administrative assistant inside her car this August by going up to her window and refusing to move, the local Providence Journal reported.
Polisena described the bird as “like Al Capone and John Dillinger,” and admitted that it was smarter than the other two that had been captured.
“He’s unbelievably fast,” he added.
Polisena has also come up against the bird in politics – the turkey received 69 votes in the town’s mayoral elections in November, the Guardian reported.
People have even made the bird its own Facebook page, which updates as the bird continues to evade capture in the town.
Polisena said that he believes the turkey has stayed in the town because people keep feeding it food, like Starbucks muffins.
He also told the Guardian that the bird had inspired him to change his usual Thanksgiving meal.
“I’ll be having lasagna for Thanksgiving,” he said. “I already told my wife: Don’t make turkey. Because I’ll have flashbacks and nightmares of trying to capture this guy.”