News | 25 June 2024
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Nearly gobbled: turkey at the dog pound

It was March when Steph Simon, Animal Control Officer and Colin Feral’s manager, got the call about a quirky turkey.

picture of colin the cat and the turkey

"It had been on this woman’s property for a few days, staring at its own reflection in her sliding glass doors.”

Over the years, Steph has had a number of odd call outs, but she’d never had to wrangle a turkey. 

“It was quite friendly, so you could tell it had been hand raised. You could pet it. Comparatively, it was an easy catch, though I was using a new truck that day that didn’t have kennels, so I just had to plonk it in the back.” 

Found in suburban Johnsonville, Steph and her team went to who they thought were the owners, but even after leaving a note, no one came to claim the bird. 

Moa Point, though technically a dog shelter, also does look after chickens, roosters and other poultry. This wasn’t the first time Colin, Chief Temperament Tester has come across another feathered friend, having lived with a rooster previously, but clearly Colin wasn’t a fan of the new arrival. 

“We’re not kit out for turkey housing, so we had to put it in a dog run away from the others. We don't really want this because turkeys poop every 30 seconds and we have to clean it up. 

Colin cried fowl.

“I was in there every day and Colin got jealous. He’d just sit at the gate yowling. So I introduced him.

“At first, he was more interested in the turkey’s food, but then it moved, and he started trying to climb the walls to get away from it. He was fine apart from the initial shock.”

It’s not the first time Steph has had to handle some bizarre animal encounters. A few weeks ago, she was called to an address in Tawa to handle a herd of cows trampling someone’s back yard.

“It was almost 3.00pm, school finishing time, and we were right along a busy road, so we had to guard them. They weren’t quite fully grown cows, but they were big enough to be scary!”

After eight days on vacation at the Moa Point Dog Pound, the turkey was taken to HUHA (Helping You Help Animals), where it now lives happily with a flock of other like-minded gobblers – and where it won’t be made into Christmas dinner!