Latest threat to MI mail carriers: turkey attacks

Grand Haven, Mich. (AP) – Mail carriers have long had to worry
about rain, snow and biting dogs. Now in Grand Haven, they’re
facing a new challenge: attacking turkeys.

In the past month, eight or nine turkeys has been disrupting
mail delivery in one part of the Michigan city, about 165 miles
west-northwest of Detroit. The threatening turkeys include three
males.

Carrier Jeremy Bogerd has been pecked in the leg. He says the
tom turkeys are “super aggressive.”

He said the 15- to 18-pound turkeys chase the mail carriers
around the neighborhood and gather at the door of the mail truck
when it enters the area.

“As soon as they see us, they’re after us,” he told the Grand
Haven Tribune. “They’re not afraid of humans.”

Grand Haven Postmaster Barb Kiehborth said the turkeys have
chased four mail carriers.

“I don’t even know what to tell them to do,” Kiehborth says.

Bogerd has been on the route for a decade and said he’s watched
the group of turkeys grow over the years. He said this is the first
time they’ve chased him.

“They’ll chase you as soon as they see the truck,” he said. “I
would rather get attacked by a dog sometimes than these
turkeys.”

Mail carriers must carry a chemical repellant spray, but Bogerd
said the turkeys’ heads are too small to hit.

No one’s seems to know why the turkeys are attacking the
carriers, but Bogerd said the leading theory is the male birds are
defending their territory or trying to impress females during
mating season.

Carrier Doug Cody said he found a small piece of lumber on a
porch that he now uses to fend off the birds. If he doesn’t
immediately see the turkeys when he enters the neighborhood, he is
constantly on the lookout for them.

“I feel like my head’s on a swivel,” he said.

Categories: News Archive

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *