Neighborhood, wildlife group clash in `Carl the Turkey’ capture attempt; elusive, enigmatic fowl still struts in Kenosha’s Forest Park | Local News

Carl the Kenosha Turkey, the most famous poultry in the Forest Park district, has once again become a centerpiece.

And we’re not talking about the middle of the Thanksgiving dinner.

The bird has been the focus of discussion over the past few months as neighbors have tried to live in harmony with it and its flock while onlookers and motorists, local and others, navigate, dodge, and even try to make friends with it in the middle of Pershing Boulevard.

Carl is walking down Pershing Boulevard on Thursday, October 7, 2021.

Wildlife rehabilitants, residents collide

That all came to a head, however, when Forest Park residents and representatives from a wildlife rehabilitation group bumped into each other on Monday night when volunteers with Fellow Mortals tried to catch Carl after dark to get him to a safe place.

Kenosha Police said the Lake Geneva-based nonprofit group, which runs a wildlife hospital and wild bird protection program, received calls from some residents concerned about the safety of the turkey.

Sgt. Leo Viola, a spokesman for the Kenosha Police Department, said Tuesday that a representative from Fellow Mortals had contacted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about possible outcomes that could result if the wild turkey remained.

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“In response to this complaint, they had decided to remove the turkey and secure it in a nature reserve where it would be safe,” said Viola. “They did it for the sake of the turkey, but after seeing the backlash from citizens in and around Pershing (boulevard), they gave up on that idea.”

Turkey, public safety concerns

Carl was still free, roaming the streets of Kenosha – at least since Tuesday night – but some continued to worry about his safety and the safety of the public.

Yvonne Wallace Blane, the director and co-founder of Fellow Mortals Wildlife Hospital, said she had known about Carl for some time and had received multiple calls from people concerned about the situation.

The Walworth County’s nonprofit wildlife center helps with animal rehabilitation and is the only one in the tri-county area of ​​Kenosha, Racine, and Walworth Counties, she said.

“We don’t usually get into that sort of situation, but people shouted and shouted,” said Wallace Blane.

After receiving multiple calls and hearing about the turkey sleeping on the street, trained volunteers came in to try to catch it. When they arrived, the volunteers got aggressive comments from people in the area, Wallace Blane said. They actually called the police to report it, she said.

Carl evades potential kidnappers

After the police arrived, the volunteers, with police support, went out to catch him, but eventually Carl fled the area before this could happen.

Then came the negative comments on social media and phone calls asking the group to leave Carl alone.

Lisa Hawkins, who maintains the Carl the Kenosha Turkey Facebook page created in honor of the beloved bird, said the volunteers who tried to take it out came with nets, hunted the turkey and caused disturbance in the neighborhood.

“It was a horrible scene when they were net-chasing him, going into people’s yards and (they) were being very rude and harsh to people who questioned what they were doing,” said Hawkins.

The other mortals later issued a statement confirming that they did not have Carl the Kenosha Turkey, despite some conflicting information that the galloping Galliformes had been captured.

“Best wishes to him and we would appreciate the ignorant comments for no reason to stop. And those of you who slander our name – call elsewhere if you ever need help, ”read her social media post.

“We have helped this region free of charge for over 36 years and saved tens of thousands of lives,” the statement continues. “Keep the harassment going and we’ll say we’re done.”

Wildlife group is not coming back

Wallace Blane said, based on the community’s reaction, they will not be returning to try and catch Carl. But Wallace Blane said she still had concerns.

“People who understand wildlife … know that as adults, wild animals shouldn’t approach you this way. That tells us that they are used to people and that this will be dangerous for animals in the future or could be dangerous for humans. “

“Turkeys are in flocks, they should be in flocks, not alone,” she said.

“It’s unfortunate for the turkey,” said Jessica Nass, wildlife biologist at Fellow Mortals. “Once he grows up he will most likely become aggressive because they are going through mating season … We have had people with damage to their cars so he is able to get himself into trouble and they will not want him there again. “. Where do you go from there? “

Nass also worries that Carl could get hit by a car or someone could end up in an accident trying to evade him.

“It’s a dangerous situation overall, but people are finding something to hold onto that doesn’t make sense,” said Nass. “That turkey, it deserves a better life … People think of themselves, not the actual turkey and the position they put it in.”

Viola said it was apparent that wildlife rehabilitators were not “fully informed about the neighborhood’s love for turkey”.

“They just responded to a citizen’s complaint and tried to do what was best for the turkey,” he said.

While the group with Carl is even more involved, police said frankly the department is too.

“It’s a wild animal. We will treat it that way, ”said Viola. Viola said the police are “clearly aware of the strong feelings they have about the turkey”.

“Everyone was taking a solid approach at the time,” he said.

Interim Police Chief Eric Larsen said if the turkey’s behavior became a problem, for example chasing and harassing people, “where it was dangerous, we would do something”.

“At the moment he is a novelty,” said Larsen from the police point of view. Carl’s celebrity has Forest Park neighbors by his side.

“This group takes Carl very seriously,” he said of the thousands of members on social media who support him.

District 15 Ald. Jack Rose, who represents the Forest Park neighborhood, said he has spoken to voters and is also aware that some people have conspiracy theories that bind him with those who may wish to remove Carl from the neighborhood.

“No. 1, I have nothing to do with the pickup,” said Rose. “With everything going on in Kenosha and beyond, Carl has been a distraction and Carl makes people smile.”

Rose confirms the turkey slowed traffic on Pershing Boulevard. In fact, the turkey was back in the middle of the street, strutting around on Tuesday morning when Rose was out.

But he said his position has not changed.

“Just leave Carl alone,” he said.

WATCH NOW: Carl the turkey is walking down a kenosha street

CARL – TURKEY

A turkey affectionately christened “Carl” inspects a Jeep Wrangler on Thursday, October 7, 2021, in the middle of Pershing Boulevard.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A woman tries to get a turkey, called “Carl” by the community, to move on so she can continue on Pershing Boulevard on Thursday.


SEAN KRAJACIC Photos, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A turkey affectionately known as “Carl” will stand on Pershing Boulevard on Thursday, October 7th, 2021.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A turkey affectionately known as “Carl” will be standing in front of a vehicle on Thursday, October 7, 2021, in the middle of Pershing Boulevard.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A turkey affectionately christened “Carl” inspects a Jeep Wrangler on Thursday, October 7, 2021, in the middle of Pershing Boulevard.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A turkey affectionately known as “Carl” inspects a Jeep Wrangler in the middle of Pershing Boulevard earlier this month.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A turkey affectionately christened “Carl” inspects a Jeep Wrangler on Thursday, October 7, 2021, in the middle of Pershing Boulevard.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A turkey affectionately known as “Carl” will be standing in the middle of the street on Thursday, October 7, 2021, blocking traffic on Pershing Boulevard.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

CARL – TURKEY

CARL - TURKEY

A turkey affectionately known as “Carl” will stand on Pershing Boulevard on Thursday, October 7th, 2021.


SEAN KRAJACIC, Kenosha News

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