A wild turkey led police on a merry dance in Wisconsin last week, breaking into an apartment and repeatedly evading capture when officers turned up to rescue and release the bird. “It really underscores the unpredictable nature of the job, that our officers are asked to do at any given time,” says Wausau Police Department Patrol Captain Todd Baeten. Here’s what happened.
The turkey broke into a second-floor apartment in Wausau, Wisconsin, raising the suspicions of neighbor Doris Madden who saw the broken window and alerted the apartment manager. The manager investigated and discovered the potential burglar was, in fact, a turkey. “We had no idea what had caused it, or if anybody was even home,” Madden told WSAW-TV. “I think it’s kind of funny. I’m just glad it wasn’t my apartment.”
According to Madden, the apartment manager called maintenance, who refused point blank to interfere with the bold bird. “When he opened the door, there’s the turkey. And so he thought, ‘I’m not going to try to catch that thing.’ So he called the police station for animal control,” Madden said.
With no animal control officer available, the brave men of Wausau’s police department stepped up to challenge the marauding turkey. “We have one humane officer, so a lot of times the first response in any call including animal calls are our patrol officers,” explained Captain Baeten. “They just have to try to do the best they can with the information that they have and the equipment available to them.”
What happened next is worthy of the best slapstick comedy—the police, armed with protective gloves and a fishing net, tried to (gently) apprehend the turkey, only to be repeatedly thwarted in their attempts. Each time the officers got close to the turkey, it would either run or fly away. “We needed two of these, Brady,” one officer told another as the turkey bolted for the kitchen.
The turkey was eventually safely captured and released back into the wild, hopefully having learned its lesson about breaking the law.