It's not every day you read something like this. A wild turkey has been roaming the streets of North Grenville, Ont., and residents are falling totally in love with the little gobbler they call Van Turken. After dodging capture attempts on February 11 from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, the North Grenville turkey continues to rampage around the small town near Ottawa, at least for now.
Residents of the town have been snapping photos of the wild animal at various businesses since earlier this month. But, as you’ll see in the video, Van Turken is not a fan of close-ups.
The video, shared on a purpose-made Facebook group on Tuesday, February 11, shows the bird aggressively chasing a local municipal worker who got too close for comfort with her camera.
In the background, you can hear sounds of laughter and alarm from those watching the event unfold from a nearby window.
Thankfully, the human didn't get the stuffing knocked out of her. And, despite the aggressive chase, most people seem to be embracing the new wild resident.
Others, naturally, are concerned for the animal’s safety, In fairness, the bird can be frequently spotted crossing busy roads and getting into other high-traffic areas that could be unsafe.
But, it seems it's got plenty of clever tricks. We wonder if the ministry will ever be able to catch this free bird.
And people are so obsessed with Van Turken and her fowl play that they’ve been gobbling up her antics and have even created a Facebook group dedicated to the bird.
That community, founded on Thursday, February 6 after the initial sitings of the bird, has just over 1,200 members at the time of writing.
Some residents are even calling for the turkey to be named the town's official mascot, says the town's communications coordinator, Jill Sturdy.
Sturdy said, per CTV News: "People just love this turkey. She's roaming around a lot, I don't know if she's used to all this attention."
A recent post in the group explains that more attempts to capture and relocate Van Turken to a safe area will be made promptly.
“I have confirmation from Kemptville OPP constable Collins that it was MNR who were trying to capture Van Turken this morning, with the intention of relocating her somewhere safer,” the post reads.
At least one more day of freedom for #vanturken https://t.co/sBYQZhkeS6 https://t.co/csH7Anbcnb— Lisa G (@Lisa G)1581442852.0
Incidentally, the turkey’s name is the result of an online vote. Van Turken won by a landslide after being spotted on Van Buren Street.
Other name options were Mrs. Waddlebutt and Dinner.
Dinner seems a touch harsh, to be honest.
Mrs. Waddlebutt, though? It's outrageous that this was overlooked.
As crazy as it seems, though, this isn't even the first time a wild turkey has gone on a rampage.
In fact, just last year you could spot this crazy bird rampaging the streets of downtown Ottawa.
Though as far as animal expeditions go, North Grenville and Ottawa residents should be happy they got a turkey and not something more sinister like a snake. Just ask Toronto.
So, yeah, it seems safe to say Ontario loves a little animal-spotting fun.