The wild turkeys of Staten Island have roamed freely since 1999, when a local resident freed nine wild turkeys, previously kept as pets, at the South Beach
Psychiatric Center near Ocean Breeze, NY. The turkeys have multiplied into hundreds and even survived Superstorm Sandy.
On August 12, 2013,
USDA agents rounded up wild turkeys on Staten Island for slaughter.
The "capture removal" operation started early in the morning, carried out by personnel from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wearing blue
T-shirts marked USDA, according to eyewitnesses. Using pellets to attract the birds into large black nets, "they were picking the turkeys up by their necks
and feet, and throwing them into plastic crates," one psychiatric center worker, clearly upset by what she had witnessed, told the Staten Island Advance. The birds were piled four crates high in the back of two white pickup trucks, "and then they just let them sit," she said.
Buttressed by an outraged public, a rally was held by John M. Mancuso and GooseWatch NYC, and several elected officials and advocacy groups intervened on
the turkeys' behalf. However, GooseWatch NYC reports that the USDA is planning another brutal roundup of the turkeys in Spring 2014.
: GooseWatch NYC:
What Can I Do?
1. Protest to the New York State Department of Conservation. Urge that the turkey roundup be stopped and that the turkeys be permitted to go to
sanctuaries that have offered to take them. Request a written reply.
Michael V. Schiavone
Certified Wildlife Biologist
NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation
Division of Fish, Wildlife, and Marine Resources
625 Broadway, 5th Floor
Albany, New York 12233-4754
2. Please sign this Petition to the Governor of New York:
USDA: Stop the Senseless Killing of Staten Island Turkeys
Learn more about turkeys & how you can help them: