25 October 2020

Gerald the Rose Garden Turkey Has Been Safely Relocated After Months of Worry Over His Fate

Gerald standing on sidewalk with people watching traffic. Photo: Mike Taylor
Gerald at home in the Rose Garden earlier this year.

Dear Friends,

In August, we reported that Gerald, Oakland's Rose Garden Turkey, Was Still at Large after a summer of fear that the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) would kill him, as threatened, after he reportedly began endangering visitors in the park where he and his family lived peacefully until the number of visitors increased to the point of conflict.

The following announcement was made Oct. 24th, by activist Molly Flanagan, who led a national call to relocate Gerald to Animal Place sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA. Unfortunately, Fish and Wildlife rejected this option. On Friday, after finally catching him, Fish and Wildlife released Gerald into a protected wild area where hopefully he will live happily.

— United Poultry Concerns


Gerald the Rose Garden Turkey, Relocated to the Wild

On Friday, October 23rd, after five months holding his ground at the Oakland Rose Garden, Gerald—AKA Big Daddy or Daddy Bird—was caught unharmed, and is now making a new life for himself in an area free of human malice.

Gerald's life had been under threat after conflicts with visitors—likely induced by stress—escalated. But because of your advocacy, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) reversed their decision and agreed to relocation in lieu of "euthanasia."

We lobbied hard for Gerald to be released at Animal Place sanctuary, where he would have had a supported transition to the wild. While CDFW did not grant this, they released him to a wild area nearby where hunting is prohibited.

We acknowledge that the shock of being separated from his family and adjusting to an unfamiliar environment will undoubtedly challenge Gerald's fortitude. However, we are hopeful that he will be able to join an existing wild turkey flock in his new habitat and, once again, be able to thrive.

Thank you for your efforts on Gerald's behalf. Please join us now in envisioning the continued resilience of Gerald and his family moving forward. May they live strong!

— Molly Flanagan

Release video

(Gerald sitting anxiously in the transport crate and his release into his new habitat.)

Gerald exiting a cardboard box and running off into a pastured bordered by trees


Learn more about turkeys & how you can help them: