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GUEST OPINION: Wild turkeys in Citrus Heights are out of control

Wild turkeys, Citrus Heights.
Wild turkeys stroll through the Sylvan Oaks Library property. // CH Sentinel

Submitted by Citrus Heights resident Cheryl Norine–
My husband and I moved to Citrus Heights in 1985. No turkey problems. Fast forward to 2019 and the turkey problem is now “out of control.”

On July 25 of this year, after dealing with turkeys for years, I went to the Citrus Heights City Council meeting and spoke with the mayor and council members along with other residents of Citrus Heights. I brought along pictures that showed that the roof on our house had been torn up because of turkey claws, and since then has had to be replaced costing $15,000.

I also explained how they tear up our yard and mulch if I’m not outside constantly watching. The members looked at the pictures and the mayor then told me she had noticed “an explosion” in the turkey population over the past few years and they would talk about it and get back with me.

After waiting patiently and hoping that the situation was going to be dealt with, I received a call from the police department’s Support Services Supervisor the first week in September. She was going to be on vacation the following week, but would get back with me on her return.

The last week in September, she called and set up a meeting with herself and an Animal Control officer for Oct. 1, but told me that she “is afraid of turkeys.” On Oct. 1, the officer showed up to speak with me and three neighbors, and I gave him three letters from other neighbors also expressing their concerns.

These neighbors have had their yards dug up, gutters destroyed on their house, and had to have their car repainted two times because of turkey claws and pecking on car doors from seeing their reflection.

On Oct. 2, the officer called and said he was going to present solutions to the council and would come by on Oct. 4th. Since then I have made numerous calls to the Support Services Supervisor as well as the Animal Control Officer and nobody will return my calls. I haven’t heard back from anyone to this day!

The turkeys are not going away and they are multiplying. Two days ago, I counted 29 turkeys in one group, and 15 in another. They don’t just come once a day; they come multiple times daily and more than one group. It’s constant!

In the summer I have spent 8 hours a day, 7 days a week watching for turkeys so that they don’t destroy our property. This is totally uncalled for!

I heard a question was recently asked on Facebook as to whether or not the turkeys are a concern to the public. I heard about the results and am wondering “what about the percentage of us that have had our property damaged” and have had to spend hours outside watching for turkeys and nothing is being done to help us?

How would you people like it? We are paying our taxes and helping support our CHPD and City of Citrus Heights, and what good is it doing?

By the way, has anyone ever read up on the diseases that can be caused from turkey feces in your yard? Take a look!

Why can’t you do something, anything, to help with this turkey problem? Do you know how many hungry people there are out there and how easy it would be for you to be able to help them be able to have a meal?

*Editor’s Note: The Sentinel reached out to the city for an opportunity to respond to this column. The police department responded in a guest column which can be read here: Citrus Heights police respond to resident complaint about wild turkeys

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