“While the original birds were part of an abandoned domestic flock, the turkeys have since interbred with local wild turkeys, making the current flock hybrids, neither fully wild nor domestic. The turkeys are beloved by Staten Islanders who have fed the flock for years; they no longer have the instincts necessary to survive in the wild. Earlier this summer, South Beach Psychiatric Center declared the turkeys to be a nuisance and contracted the USDA to remove the birds. An initial round-up resulted both in the slaughter of turkeys and the convergence of animal welfare protesters on Staten Island.”
The rescued 28 turkeys were sent to the Hudson Valley “Catskill Animal Sanctuary”. Read more here.