TOMS RIVER, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Toms River residents feel like their turkey troubles are not being heard.
Now, a famous resident, professional athlete Todd Frazier, is stepping up to the plate and calling for action, CBS2’s Meg Baker reported Monday.
“It’s disturbing,” Frazier said.
The former Mets and Yankees infielder tweeted a picture of his SUV covered with wild turkeys over the weekend at his home in Toms River.
— Todd Frazier (@FlavaFraz21) November 10, 2019
“You see the claws on these things. They’re no joke. Some people think it’s not that serious, but it really is,” Frazier said.
Neighbors said the turkeys have gotten so aggressive they can’t let their small children outside to play.
Some of the large birds weigh more than 20 pounds and can run faster than 20 mph.
“I’ve made numerous calls to wildlife to no avail,” Frazier said. “If we could just trap them, and put them in a different where they can be safe and we can be safe. I called the governor out on Twitter. Hopefully he gets a hold of it.”
Gov. Phil Murphy’s office says it “is working with the Department of Environmental Protection to alleviate the concerns of those in the community.”
The wild turkey population is out of control. Toms River officials said they gave the state permission to set traps, but nothing has been done yet.
There have been reports of flocks of 50 plus turkeys that take over neighborhoods, leaving their droppings behind, pecking at cars, and more.
“There’s not a lot of natural predators for them here. There’s a lot of food sources. A lot of people put bird seed out. There’s a lot of food here. They feel safe here,” Toms River Animal Control Chief Richard Barbosa said.
CBS2 took video last week of 20-plus turkeys crossing the road and searching for food in the front yard of a home in the Holiday City retirement community, where some people feel threatened.
“It’s just going to keep getting worse and worse,” Frazier added.
Residents said they have been dealing with the feathered trespassers for more than two years, but hope now that the voice of a Major League Baseball player will spark action by the state.
Toms River officials are reminding residents not to feed the turkeys. You can make loud noises or open and close an umbrella to scare them off.