The Tosa Turkeys – Thanksgiving Gone Wild

Mya Hansen

A common Thanksgiving tradition for many Americans is having a hot apple pie and roasted turkey for dinner. In the Wauwatosa community, however, turkeys are just as well known for their mischievous behavior.

“One neighbor and her children were chased two blocks after a too-close encounter with the turkeys. Even the mailwoman began arming herself with an umbrella so she could open it and scare them away,” said Wauwatosa resident Seiche Sanders.

Since the beginning of the school year, an infamous flock of wild turkeys have been stirring up trouble. The “Tosa Turkeys” have been frequently spotted in the neighborhoods of Lowell-Damon Woods, the Washington Highlands, and near Milwaukee Avenue. These wild Wisconsin turkeys have made a home for themselves in East Tosa. In fact, the turkeys have now become an overpopulated species in the area.

Partially to blame is the state of Missouri. The Enviromental Education for Kids in Wisconsin Departmemt, stated that in January of 1976, Wisconsin made a trade with Missouri to bring back wild turkeys to Wisconsin and help restore their population. Since then, the population of the birds has soared and it seems they’ve enjoyed their frequent visits to Wauwatosa.

The feeling isn’t completely mutual. According to Sanders, residents have begun calling the flock “murder turkeys” and children have been armed with information about “what to do” in case they come too close.

Wauwatosa East students who took part in an AP Research survey say they enjoy the birds and even go as far as to call them a “positive mascot for the community”, or that they are a “cute little way to interact with your neighbors”. Either way, these birds have become a staple of Wauwatosa and we will see them again next year. Until then, have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!