Wild turkey trashes New Jersey home, causes up to $7,000 in damage

Posted on: 9:50 pm, September 5, 2013, by

(CNN) — A large turkey unexpectedly arrived at a New Jersey home one morning in August, but the homeowner wasn’t giving any thanks.
 
Huddled in her bedroom, Marie Manco, 70, was instead calling the police about the live intruder, which had entered her home by flying through a second-floor window.
 
“A wild turkey came through my skylight and it’s flying around my house right now, destroying everything! I’m in my bedroom, but I’m afraid to come out,” a frightened Manco told the 911 operator. “I just hear a banging, and it’s just destroying my whole house!”
 
Police arrived at her Kinnelon home shortly after and observed that a large window had been broken above the front door. When officers went in with a blanket to catch the turkey, it ran off into the kitchen and smashed through a 5-by-5-foot picture window, according to Sgt. David Crouthamel of the Kinnelon Police Department.
 
Police said that the turkey was “one of the biggest birds” they’ve ever seen. When one officer, who is nearly 6 feet tall, attempted to grab it, it came up to his hip, Crouthamel said.
 
The giant gobbler proved to be no chicken when it trashed Manco’s home, leaving an estimated $6,000 to $7,000 in damages before trotting away. Three large windows were shattered, walls were cracked, and the floor was littered with feces, broken glass and feathers, according to police.
 
Manco was home alone at the time of the incident and remains shaken up.
 
“Violated. I felt violated. And frightened. And I’m still frightened,” Manco told CNN affiliate WCBS.
 
Police believe that the bird saw its reflection in the window glass and became aggressive. Turkeys are not able to recognize their own image and will respond to a reflection as they would to an intruding or competing turkey, according to the New Jersey Wildlife Control Operators Association.
 
“It’s mating season for turkeys, and we’re attributing the aggression to that,” Lt. John Schwartz told WCBS.
 
Manco has been having difficulty getting her insurance to cover the damage to her home, police say. While police took photos of some turkeys in the surrounding area, the “suspect” is still at large.