FALMOUTH – On Tuesday, government special forces captured the brazen leader of the Turkey Gang Of Falmouth, a sketchy character known only as “Tom.” He was captured unharmed and taken to an undisclosed location, presumably for questioning.
It was thought that removing the leader of this gang that has occupied Falmouth’s Main Street would send the entire group cowering into the woods. For one day, it seemed so.
Early Thursday morning, Falmouth Animal Control Officer Dan Donahue said he believed the rest of the turkeys “have sort of gotten the hint that he is gone, and they went back into the woods, or maybe they went looking for him.”
About an hour after this conversation, we saw the gang relaxing near a mailbox on the sidewalk in front of Headlines Salon & Day Spa and William Raveis Real Estate.
While we were unable to reach Donahue later in the day for comment, he had said that if the removal of one male turkey didn’t work, another may be captured and removed until the birds get the idea.
Donahue was not sure where the first turkey, captured by a “turkey expert” from the Mass Wildlife, was taken. “I think it may have been Crane Wildlife,’ he said, referring to the 1,800-acre Frances A. Crane Wildlife Management area north of Route 151. (SEE THE UPDATE: Please Don’t Feed The Turkeys – Talking Turkey With The State Expert)
On Wednesday, it appeared that the turkeys had left town, said Donahue. “We looked and we didn’t see them,” he said. Cape Cod Wave also looked on Wednesday and did not see them.
Thursday was different. The turkeys were back.
While they were not blocking traffic as they had been in recent weeks, they had again taken over a part of the sidewalk on Main Street. Last week, before the leader was taken away, one had to walk on the street in traffic to get past the birds, who were sometimes occupying up to three storefronts when not blocking traffic.
“They definitely had become a nuisance,” said Donahue.
According to Donahue, the rise in the turkey population is part of the natural ebb and flow of various animal populations on the Cape. There were years when there were a lot of coyotes, he said.
“A couple of years ago, I was getting complaints about all the bunnies going into people’s gardens,” said Donahue.
But the turkeys have increasingly become a very public part of downtown Falmouth.
“We had been getting complaints, probably since summer,” he said. “For the most part, they haven’t attacked anybody, so to speak. But yeah, we were getting calls. Most of them were not complaints. Just letting us know the turkeys were blocking traffic,” he said.
“Honestly, most of the complaints were coming from the Post Office,” he said. Donahue did not know why turkeys were aggressive towards postal carriers but not other humans. “Dogs chase mailmen too,” he pointed out. “So maybe it’s just mailmen.”
“Or maybe it’s the uniform,” he said. “I notice they also go after police vehicles.”
Isn’t it obvious?
Turkeys have been going after our communication, and the very people who keep order. These clearly are acts of war, which is why “Tom” had to be captured, and why his successor, surprisingly also named, “Tom” may be next.
According to Donahue, the special forces, AKA “the turkey expert,” launched the attack on Tom in broad daylight. “They’re not too hard to catch,” he said. “They’re used to people. He just threw a net over him.”