UPDATE: The turkeys belong to Haines resident Shane Martin. He declined to talk to KHNS about why the turkeys were loose or how they are doing now.
The mystery of the rogue, roving turkeys puzzled and amused Haines residents this week. A gaggle of four domesticated turkeys took field trips around town, resting in backyards, stopping traffic and other shenanigans. No one seems to know exactly where the birds came from.
“I was just getting in my car and I heard gobbling,” recounted Soap Suds Alley resident Deana Stout. “I looked over and they were just walking down the street here. They were just hanging out and gobbling at everybody and carrying on.”
On Monday, Stout saw this unexpected sight: a group of turkeys walking around the neighborhood, strutting around like they own the place.
“At first somebody said ‘call 911!’ So I called 911 and she said ‘what is the emergency?’ And I said, ‘well it’s not really an emergency but there’s turkeys in the middle of the road.'”
“They are not a danger to the public, as far as I’ve been told,” said acting police chief Josh Dryden.
Dryden says the turkeys have not been his first priority this week, so he does not know where they came from.
“We seem to have had quite a year for escaping domestic birds,” said local bird expert Pam Randles.
A flock of domesticated pheasants was wandering around town earlier this winter, and now the turkeys. Randles says it’s the first time she’s seen roving domesticated turkeys in Haines.
“They’ve been providing a lot of entertainment. And they’ve also been scaring a lot of people because they seem to gather around people’s cars, which makes it nerve-wracking to try and figure out even how to get in or get out.”
I’m embarrassed to admit this, but that’s exactly what happened to me.
“I went to find the turkeys…They’re just walking around my car in a circle and not really making any noises but…oh one of them’s feathers just puffed up. I think he hears me. Please don’t walk over here. I’m scared to roll down my windows more than just a crack.”
Yes, I was scared by four little turkeys. I know they have tiny brains, but when they’re pacing around your car in circles it seems like they’re plotting an attack or something.
I escaped safely from that encounter. Randles’ advice to those who come across the turkeys is to give them space, especially if you have a dog with you.
I tried to find out who owns the roaming foul, to no avail. That part remains a mystery.
“It’s pretty bizarre,” said Stout. “I’ve seen moose walking down the street but I don’t think I’ve ever seen a turkey before.”