NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Flocks of birds are menacing residents on Staten Island and may be causing health and safety issues.
As CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported, there’s a place for the birds to go, but red tape could be holding up the process.
Loretta Staiti said that she felt terrorized by turkeys on a recent visit to Ocean Breeze.
“I wasn’t feeding them. I wasn’t doing anything,” Staiti said, “As I’m walking faster they’re walking faster. Then I started running around the car, they started running around the car after me.”
Residents said that one reason there are so many turkeys right in front of the hospital is because of the steady food supply.
Food cart operator Ammar Imam said that the turkeys come for his crumbs, but scare away his customers and get too close to cars.
“There’s a lot of them. They stop traffic all the time,” Imam said.
Residents want the birds removed, but unharmed.
“Send them away somewhere that they’re safe. Not send them away and slaughter them. I feel that is wrong,” Patrick Sullivan said.
State Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R) is running for re-election, she helped broker a deal with a bird sanctuary in Upstate Greene County. There is room there for at least 50 birds, but there is a hold up.
“We should be moving at a faster pace,” Malliotakis said.
The New York State Office of Mental Health owns the property where most of the turkeys live. Malliotakis has accused the OMH of dragging its feet in arranging to get the turkeys to their new home.
“So we’re stuck here in this bureaucratic red tape,” she said.
OMH spokesperson Ben Rosen told CBS 2 that the turkey transportation must be done properly and safely. He said that a contract to move the birds will be finalized and the details will be released in the near future.
Other proposals to combat Staten Island’s turkey trouble include putting out bait for bird birth control and putting oil on the eggs so they don’t hatch.
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