Ramsay residents divided on relocating neighbourhood's wild turkey

Turk, as the turkey was dubbed, has been living in the neighbourhood since April but now the Cochrane Ecological Institute has volunteered to rehome the bird.
This wild turkey has been roaming the streets of Ramsay for several months and has become a beloved member of the community. (Danielle Nerman/CBC)

Turk's loyal followers are heatedly debating what should become of Ramsay's resident wild turkey — should he stay or should the gobble be gone now?

Many residents have grown fond of Turk's visits, but others worry for the turkey's safety. Consequently, the Cochrane Ecological Institute has come forward offering to rehome the bird. 

"He could have carried on and moved on, but he likes our neighbourhood," said Erin Joslin, a Ramsay resident. 

"He's really brought the community together, so I think if he's relocated, there's a sense of loss."

Lisa Dahlseide is the education co-ordinator for the institute, and she says the turkey is certainly not a threat to residents but more likely residents are a threat to him, despite best intentions. 

"It seems to me that most people where he frequents are madly in love with him, which is something that I celebrate seeing," Dahlseide told the Calgary Eyeopener.

"I think that he's well loved and well cared for, but there's other people that come into Ramsay. There's a lot of people drinking down in Inglewood, for example, and they could potentially be a threat."

Turk offered 'turkey paradise'

Dahlseide said another factor to consider is that if Turk finds a lonely female wondering about, the baby birds could eventually create an invasive species problem that could concern the City of Calgary. 

"To be honest, I think that where he's at is fine. He does appear to be healthy and he seems to be quite happy," Dahlseide said. "There are some photos I see of him where he does look fearful and whatnot. But generally, I think he's doing pretty well there."

"But we do have a pretty awesome turkey paradise out at Cochrane Ecological Institute with a lonely female turkey. So she's been hoping to have a mate come along," she added.

"So if at any time the citizens of Ramsay fully support it, he can come to our turkey paradise, for sure."

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener.


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