21 June 2020

Gerald the turkey in the Rose Garden

Update and New Call For Action for Gerald, the Rose Garden Turkey

JUN 21, 2020

Thanks to your tremendous support, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife has agreed to relocate Gerald. This means he will not be killed in the Morcom Rose Garden as was planned—a great relief!

However, we are very concerned that CDFW’s intended location for Gerald is not as safe or as suitable as what could be provided at Animal Place, a local sanctuary that is ready and eager to receive him.

Please join us in thanking CDFW for sparing Gerald and urge them to grant him sanctuary at Animal Place. Simply copy and paste the email below or write a message of your own, keeping in mind that diplomacy may be the most persuasive approach for securing Gerald the outcome he needs and deserves.

Thank you so much,
Molly Flanagan and Gerald’s beloved community

P.S. Some of the emails appear to be blocked, but some will get through!

Subject: Sanctuary for Gerald
To: Charlton.Bonham@wildlife.ca.gov, Valerie.Termini@wildlife.ca.gov, Erickson@wildlife.ca.gov, Conrad.Jones@wildlife.ca.gov

Thank you so much for hearing our requests and agreeing to relocation for Gerald, the Morcom Rose Garden turkey. I am grateful to know that you are listening to the concerns of the public and I am very relieved that he will not be killed.

I understand that the plan is to relocate Gerald to the Oakland hills. However, I am concerned that this could prove an extremely challenging environment for him. Wildlife experts often cite the risk of starvation and exposure to predators as reasons for prohibiting relocation. These are obviously vital concerns. Gerald is used to the relative safety of the rose garden, so a sudden move to the Oakland hills—where he does not know how to find food and shelter or navigate large predators such as mountain lions—poses many dangers. Since Gerald has had so many conflicts with local residents, I’m also concerned that an urban public park with many trails, local neighborhoods, and cars, may only lead to more of the same—stress and conflict.

As you may know, Animal Place, a well-established and respected sanctuary, has space for Gerald and is eager to receive him. With 600 acres in a rural area, they have many wild turkey flocks and would be able to provide a protected—or semi protected—area where he can slowly acclimate to living in more wild land. They could also offer transitional care—crucial since Gerald is so accustomed to being fed.

I know that you take decisions about wildlife relocation very seriously. I appreciate your consideration of Gerald’s unique situation, and what would be most optimal for his long-term safety. A “soft release” at Animal Place would provide this and give him the best possible chance at life as he transitions into a more wild setting. I respectfully urge you to grant Gerald sanctuary.

For more information about Gerald the Rose Garden Turkey see:
Public Pressure Saves Gerald, the Rose Garden Turkey, from Gov’t Killing!