Wild turkeys harass Cal Poly students during breeding season

Turkey breeding season is underway, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife is warning people that the animals could become aggressive during this time.

Wild turkeys occupy about 18% of the state.

Turkeys have been seen in several areas of the Central Coast, including in the heart of the Cal Poly campus.

“I’m on the first floor right outside the window. I’m going to look out and they’re looking at me,” Cal Poly freshman Wyatt Lalonde said.

“For some people, they’ll just be in a rush for their 7 or 8 a.m. classes and it’s just a bunch of crazy turkeys,” said fellow freshman Juliana Ornelas-Perez.

“We have screens in our building and a slide show that says stay away from the turkeys,” rookie Emily Joyce said.

“I hear them gobble up every morning and I’m just scared to come out,” said fellow freshman Aidan Giable.

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife brought the current species of wild turkeys from Texas in the 1970s for hunting.

The ministry advises people who come into contact with turkeys to open an umbrella, if they have one, to keep them away.

Many Cal Poly students say they have had personal encounters with turkeys.

“I had a guy trying to get into the dorm and the turkeys got in front of him,” rookie Lars Holien said. “They pushed them back, it was really funny actually.”

“I ran past a group of them and just looked at them, then I made eye contact and they chased me for about five minutes,” said Greta Burk, also a freshman on the campus.

“I was a victim, and it was traumatic, really,” rookie Oliver Lane said. “I think everyone deep down is afraid of turkeys, especially when there’s a whole bunch of them.”

“I was actually in my truck one time and saw a guy being chased down the road on his bike,” freshman Aidan Corley said. “He had to get off his bike and run.”

“I took a little video of them and just when I turned off the video they started getting really mad at me and started flapping their wings and slapping me,” the college student said. first year Max Eatchel. “I started running and they came chasing me.”

Other Cal Poly students say the turkeys are a welcome presence on campus.

“I just decided to sit near them, they came over and I sat with them for a while,” Isaac Rudnick said. “They didn’t attack me.”

“It’s just cool to see wildlife here on campus, just walking around,” said Jaskaran Dhillon, who is also a freshman on campus.

“My dream is to be chased by a turkey one day,” rookie Allie Sweeney said. “We saw videos of people being chased. They chase people on bicycles.

A Cal Poly spokesperson told KSBY that it’s not uncommon for the university to receive reports of turkeys chasing students.

Cal Poly officers usually scare away birds that cause trouble.

It is recommended that people do not run away from birds as turkeys will usually give chase.