MEAD, Wash. -- The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife said it is trying to address a turkey problem throughout Eastern Washington.
Turkeys have taken over a Mead mobile home community. Around 200 turkeys are currently causing a ruckus in Shenandoah Forest Park. They are making a mess and damaging homes.
Fish and Wildlife officials said it's not just a problem in this community, but all throughout Eastern Washington. The department said turkey populations have grown a lot over the past 20 years.
Wild turkeys are not native to the western United states, but were introduced as a hunted species throughout the Midwest and west back in the 1960s by state agencies, including the Fish and Wildlife department.
"They have more than thrived and yes, are a nuisance in many areas, so no further introductions, nor relocations within the state, have been made in the last couple of decades," said Madonna Luers, a spokesperson for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Local wildlife experts said the turkeys at Shenandoah Forest Park were not put there by the state directly. They said the turkeys likely moved to the area looking for a place to settle down and find an easy meal from things like bird and squirrel feeders.The state strongly discourages people from feeding turkeys and other wildlife.
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State Fish and Wildlife officials said they plan on working with Shenandoah Forest Park property managers to look at their options.
They said nests can be difficult to find and get to, and it can be costly and labor intensive to destroy the eggs. They are also going to look for non-lethal, legal ways to reduce the number of turkeys that are already there.
As far as health concerns, experts do not believe turkeys pose a serious threat to a person or pet's health. They said if you or your pet come into contact with turkeys or droppings wash up thoroughly.
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