Public Pressure Saves Gerald, the Rose Garden Turkey
From All-Creatures.org Animal Rights/Vegan Activist Strategies Articles Archive

FROM UPC United Poultry Concerns
June 20, 2020


Public pressure saves Gerald, the Rose Garden turkey, from California Department of Fish and Wildlife Killing!

Turkey Gerald

In response to public pressure to relocate Gerald the turkey from the Rose Garden to a safe habitat in the Oakland Hills, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) has agreed to this humane proposal, instead of capturing and “euthanizing” (cruelly killing) Gerald on Monday, June 22nd, as was planned.

Conflicts arose this spring between Gerald, a wild turkey living in the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland, CA, and visitors to the park. The spring mating season, in which parent birds incubate, hatch, and aggressively protect their chicks, plus many more park visitors this year than usual, caused Gerald to act dangerously toward people, causing the CDFW to intervene.

Luckily, park visitors and neighbors did not want Gerald to be killed. Efforts to save his life included a petition to Protect the Life of Gerald the Rose Garden Turkey in Oakland, CA.

These efforts paid off. According to the CDFW, “The goal is to relocate it [Gerald] to a suitable habitat nearby.”

United Poultry Concerns is grateful to everyone who signed the petition, created by Molly Flanagan, on Gerald’s behalf. As of 10:00 AM today EDT, the petition showed 6,768 signatures!

Here’s the ABC News story, published June 19th, about the decision to forego lethal force in favor of saving Gerald’s life: Community rallies to save Oakland turkey.

Hopefully, there will be no snags in the relocation of Gerald to a safe habitat.

Turkey Gerald
Gerald waiting with friends...

BACKGROUND

From UPC, June 16, 2020

A “depredation permit” has been secured to “lethally remove”
—shoot and kill—Gerald the turkey, next Monday (6/22).

Relocation Request: Protect Morcom Rose Garden Turkey

We, the residents of the Morcom Rose Garden neighborhood in Oakland CA, and beyond, call on the CDFW to consider relocation as a means for allowing Gerald, the resident male turkey, to keep his life.

As you may have heard, Gerald began attacking visitors over recent months, and the situation has become untenable. The attacks coincided with mating season, the presence of new chicks, and drastically increased human (and dog) activity in the park due to shelter-in-place. These are all factors which may have led him to feel protective and under threat.

Oakland Animal Services has worked hard, under CDFW’s guidance, to de-escalate the situation, using hazing, calling for an end to all feeding, and temporarily closing the park to ensure public safety and support retraining. Nevertheless, many have disregarded the closure and incidents have continued, including people taunting Gerald and attempting to stave him off with counter-attacks. This is not an environment for reducing stress. Yet, barring substantial change in how Gerald interacts with humans, the plan is for him to be killed June 22. This grim prospect has caused much sadness and distress to members of the community.

We understand that requests for relocation have been made in attempts to prevent Gerald’s “lethal removal”, and that CDFW has denied these requests. We recognize that there are risks with relocation and we appreciate the gravity of this.

We also understand that a number of wildlife experts say it is possible for wild turkeys to relocate successfully, and that several suitable areas are available, ranging from wild public lands to sanctuary. We urge that one of these options be permitted to give Gerald a chance at life in a less-populated area where he can learn to forage. Thank you for considering our request and doing your best to honor his life.


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