Shopping with Downtown Tom

November 28, 2016


Day one of my Christmas shopping… and who should I see out and about, having a good old time harassing shoppers in downtown Davis: Downtown Tom! He must feel pretty emboldened, having survived Thanksgiving and all.

I saw him chase after my friend Gary who was not about to be intimidated by a bird, even a famously nasty one just itching for a fight. Gary maintained his cool and the turkey gave up.


I hear some visitors to downtown have not been as tolerant.. complaints have been filed! 911 has been called!

Davis has made national news on our little turkey issue. Here’s a snip from the UPI:


Aggressive turkeys terrorizing residents of Davis, California

By Daniel Uria   |   Nov. 3, 2016 at 11:35 AM
The city of Davis, Calif., passed an ordinance allowing a trap-and-release program to remove up to 40 aggressive wild turkeys in the area. One turkey, known as “Downtown Tom.” forced several frightened residents to call police for help.

DAVIS, Calif., Nov. 3 (UPI) — A California city has voted to remove and re-locate an increasing number of aggressive turkeys.

One particularly aggressive Turkey, known as “Downtown Tom,” prompted several residents of Davis, Calif., to call local police for help, according to KCRA.

“Yes, this is almost embarrassing. I am trying to get into my office on G Street in Davis and I have this huge turkey surrounding my car, circling me and I don’t know what to do,” one caller said. “I don’t want to run it over but I can’t stay in my car all morning, is there any advice you can give me?”

The Davis City Council voted 4-1 in favor of a more than $20,000 trap-and-release program in response to the presence of up to 40 aggressive wild turkeys, the Davis Enterprise reported.

“We can either proactively be a part of the solution…or we can have it come back to us when people have taken (the issue) into their own hands or someone seriously gets hurt,” Councilwoman Rochelle Swanson said.

The ordinance allows for lethal removal of the turkeys, including Downtown Tom, who managed to escape capture by wildlife officials.

The city also placed signs in the downtown area giving residents tips for dealing with the aggressive fowl.

“Be the dominant species, essentially,” City Wildlife Resource Specialist John McNerney said, summarizing the advice. “Don’t let it intimidate you, which can be difficult for some folks.”


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