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I am compelled to respond to your news clip regarding the 'aggressive' turkeys on Austin Avenue. We live on the block in question and are very familiar with all varieties of the local turkeys. The three in question are docile and harmless. They have been feeding on insects and seeds in the local yards all year. Occasionally they chase their reflections in passing cars, which they think are other turkeys.

Turkeys are very curious animals, and these have gained unusual confidence around humans, so they may approach — a very uncommon behavior for wild turkeys — however they do not peck or attack. Upon reading your article, I researched the dangers of wild turkeys and understand that males, in the fall, may take dominant postures with those they consider to be subordinates, and the best way to 'shoo away' a turkey is to simply treat them with dominance, such as shouting, kicking, or use of broomstick. The historic skills of our grandparents in interacting with animals have been lost.

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In Northwest Indiana, there are far larger populations of geese, which are more aggressive during mating season than turkeys. What is needed in this situation is not a "thinning of the herd" but rather a change in neighborhood behavior to confident dominance over these animals and avoidance of friendly behaviors such as feeding them. This will ensure they stay in the immediately adjacent woods and DNR property habitat and continue their valuable role in the local ecosystem.

Erica Hanson, Schererville

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