Some residents of a Fairfield County neighborhood are up in arms after a male turkey who once lived in the area was shot and killed by police.
The incident took place on Wednesday, May 26, when Bridgeport Police were called to the area of Burnham and Alsace streets after a contractor began allegedly kicking the turkey -- named Gobble by some residents -- after it became aggressive toward him.
Once the police officer arrived on the scene, the turkey also attacked the officer and damaged his ballistic vest, said Bridgeport Police Sgt. Stacey Lyons.
Lyons said the battle with "Gobble" has been going on for quite a while with the animal control department receiving more than 24 official complaints about the aggressive bird and dozens of emails from residents concerned about the bird's behavior.
"The aggressive behavior was so intense that the mailman for the area asked to have his route changed," Lyons said.
Lyons, who said some residents have been feeding the turkey against the advice of animal control and officials from the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, are the ones upset about the killing.
The sergeant said she had talked with many residents and many are "quietly" happy that the aggressive bird is gone.
"We contacted the state DEEP on how to handle the turkey and they told us the bird was no longer a candidate for re-homing or moving to a different habitat due to it being fed by humans," she said.
Unfortunately, she added, their suggestion was due to the circumstances and the number of attacks, was to euthanize the bird.
"So many people have been attacked by the bird including a woman who was 8-and-half months pregnant and almost fell on her face and stomach trying to get away from the attacking bird," Lyons said.
A sticking point with many of the residents is that after the officer shot the bird, which didn't die right away, the officer allegedly then stabbed it.
"The officer realized the bird wasn't dead and didn't want to have to shot it again or have the bird suffering," Lyons said.
Lyons says residents should never feed wild animals, including birds, and said she has met with the residents to explain why.
"It's not good for the animals which makes it impossible to relocate them," she added.
Neighbors reportedly had Gobble cremated and put into a tin.
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