• 37°

turkey in the road

By Steve Huffman
Salisbury Post
For the past couple of weeks, a wild turkey has staked out as home the intersection of U.S. 29 and Webb Road/Rosemond Road.
Rest assured, the setting is not a natural habitat for such a fowl.
“We hope he makes it, but we figure he’ll eventually meet up with a Chevrolet or a Ford,” said Sgt. Tony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.
Until that happens, the big bird has earned quite a reputation for itself, flapping wings and generally gobbling about as turkeys are known to do.
“It’s funny to sit here and watch him,” said Jessica Bradley, assistant manager of Hot Spot on U.S. 29, near the Webb Road intersection. “He stays to himself. He doesn’t cause any problems.”
She said the turkey has been hopping from one car to the next in the store’s parking lot, and has even jumped atop the awning of the business.
Bradley said store employees have thrown out-of-date meat behind the building for the bird, which might explain the creature’s reluctance to migrate from its newfound home.
“He won’t get close to you and he won’t let anyone get close to him,” she said.
Across the street at the N.C. Highway Patrol Station, Dale Gray, a telecommunicator, has watched the turkey for the better part of two weeks.
He said the bird is a female.
“She’s an actual wild turkey,” Gray said. “We’ve seen her all over the place.”
He said the first time the turkey was spotted, she was sitting atop a truck in the station’s garage. She’s since wandered up and down the road, crossing over to Be Bops, a restaurant on the far side of U.S. 29.
Gray said the bird might have survived as long as she has because motorists slow a bit as they pass the intersection outside the Highway Patrol station.
“People don’t expect to see a wild turkey in the road,” he said. “They’re pretty much amazed.”
Gray said he’d like to catch the turkey and relocate her to property his family owns on Campbell Road, the site of the Rowan County Landfill. He said there are numerous other turkeys in that vicinity, and the one calling the U.S. 29/Webb Road intersection home would fit in nicely.
But Gray said the likelihood of anyone catching the turkey ranks somewhere between slim and none.
“I don’t think one person working alone could possibly catch her,” he said.
Gray said a wildlife officer tried unsuccessfully recently to snare the turkey with a net.
Sharum said if that’s so, he doesn’t know where the wildlife officer was from. He said the policy of the Wildlife Resources Commission is to leave wild animals alone.
Contact Steve Huffman at 704-797-4222 or shuffman@salisburypost.com.

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