Officials at a town that has been overrun by wild turkeys took matters into their own hands on Tuesday, making it illegal for residents to feed the birds. Anyone caught feeding the turkeys in Hainesport Township could be fined up to $2,000.
The township committee approved the ordinance during a meeting Tuesday night.
“We have 20 of them coming through our yard,” said Hainesport resident Jennifer Aydjian. “They’re on our front yard and driveway all the time.”
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While Jennifer thought they were “cute” at first, she has since then changed her stance.
“They have started to become a nuisance,” said Aydjian. “If they’re on our driveway we don’t pull in right away because I’m afraid they’ll run into the garage and attack us. They’ve attacked our car.”
Growing concerns about the turkeys becoming aggressive and attacking residents prompted Township officials to take action. Despite the vote, many residents who spoke during Tuesday’s meeting disagree with the law.
“This is a wildlife area,” said Gail Hillmann, who disagrees with the ordinance. “You’ve got a state park right behind us, wetlands. These people come in from Philadelphia who’ve never seen a turkey before except at Thanksgiving on their table and don’t know how to handle it.”
Randy and Melanie Morton first contacted Township officials about the wild turkeys back in April. They tell NBC10 the new measure goes too far and won’t solve the problem however.
“We’re kind of shocked I guess,” said Randy. “Maybe a little happy but obviously that’s not going to eliminate the problem.”
“Not anything inhumane but I think they should be caught by nets and I think they should be moved to other areas where they’re not going to be a menace to people,” said Melanie.
Township officials say the new law will be on a case by case basis. The ordinance will apply to people who repeatedly and purposely feed the wild turkeys.