Turkey causing traffic headaches in Westchase, FWC says no plans for removal

Hillsborough County

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – A turkey is causing quite a stir in Westchase, reportedly wandering in busy intersections, making residents nervous for their own safety – in addition to the turkey’s.

8 On Your Side has received reports of the turkey from a neighborhood Facebook group. Users say the turkey has been hanging out in the intersections of Linebaugh Avenue and Countryway Road, and Linebaugh and Race Track Road.

Drivers have to be careful to not hit the turkey and many have snapped photos of the animal hanging out on the side of the road. Photos are posted to the community Facebook group to make others aware of its location.

One resident said in an email that the turkey brought traffic to a standstill on Saturday around the corner of Linebaugh Avenue, Forest Lakes Boulevard and Race Track Road. Both drivers and officers have gotten out of their vehicles to try and shoo the turkey from the road.

Residents want the turkey relocated for everyone’s safety, but the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says that since the animal appears to be healthy and is capable of leaving the area on its own, there are no plans to capture and remove it at this time.

“It is not uncommon for turkeys and other wildlife to be reported near high-traffic areas or near roadways, and they can linger for several weeks before moving on to more suitable habitat. Most often when this occurs it is a result of feeding or seasonal behaviors,” FWC said in a statement to 8 On Your Side.

FWC encourages the public to not exit their vehicles to help the turkey and to “haze it whenever possible” by honking your horn to encourage it to move from the area. Residents and drivers should not attempt to feed the turkey.

For questions or if you’re experiencing problems with wild turkeys in your area, FWC encourages you to contact your local FWC regional office. For emergencies with aggressive wild turkeys, call the Wildlife Alert Hotline at 888-404-3922.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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