A wild turkey that confronted a woman on a trail in southeast DC is likely the same bird that attacked at least two other people on the trail last month, an official said.
The woman told News4 that the turkey wouldn’t leave her alone Tuesday night near the second mile on the Anacostia Riverwalk trail.
She says the fiery bird knocked her down and scratched her. Then she captured a video of the turkey on her phone.
” Help ! Help ! Help ! the woman can be heard screaming in the video as the turkey approaches her on a grassy area near the trail.
Eventually, she managed to get away from the turkey.
A biologist with the DC Department of the Environment believes it was the same turkey that attacked a man and a woman in April on the trail.
A wild turkey chases and attacks people on the popular Anacostia Riverwalk in the northeast. Reporting by Mark Segraves of News4.
“Just riding along the way this gigantic turkey kind of jumps towards my face…almost claws my face. So it kind of knocked me off my bike and then it started to chasing me for, like, five minutes,” DeDe Folarin said.
Then Folarin says the turkey attacked a nearby woman who tried to push her away with her bicycle. Folarin captured the encounter on video.
“I put the phone down and picked up the biggest twig I could find and started kicking the bird twice,” Folarin said. The turkey ended up running into a bush.
Folarin says he and the woman were repeatedly asked why they didn’t just run away.
“They can be very aggressive. They are very fast and you’ve never been attacked by a turkey before,” he said.
There have been several sightings of wild turkeys along the trail since November.
“There’s actually a pretty healthy population of turkeys in and around DC,” said Dan Rauch, a fish and wildlife biologist for DC’s Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE ). “There are at least a hundred, maybe even two, here in the District.”
But not all wild turkeys are friendly.
Rauch believes the turkey that attacked Folarin is the same turkey multiple people have reported seeing from Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens in DC to Bladensburg Waterfront Park in Maryland.
He said the DOEE tried to catch the bird.
“I went to get it and used different turkey calls, calls with males or females, trying to lure it in order to catch that bird,” Rauch said.
“She’s a male so she’s a pretty big turkey and when people see her she’ll drop her wings, she’ll break off to display herself.”
The DOEE plans to catch the bird and have it evaluated by a veterinarian before releasing it to a nearby wildlife sanctuary.
Until then, Rauch says visitors to these areas should exercise caution and call animal control if they spot the turkey.
“If that turkey comes near you, I’ll try to back up and walk away,” he said. “It’s a big bird. They have spurs. They can run and they can fly.”