Dog kills wild turkey on Sparks Street
A wild turkey’s ill-fated foray into Sparks Street has a local bird group issuing a stern warning to dog owners: leash your pets.
The young female turkey was spotted Tuesday morning near the Bank of Canada building.
Anouk Hoedeman of Safe Wings Ottawa, a local group dedicated to reducing the number of bird deaths from window, said she received several calls from people concerned about the bird.
Hoedeman checked on it, but it seemed just fine. The risks of trying to capture it outweighed the benefits of relocating it.
“People were saying, ‘Are you going to rescue it?’ And we’re like, ‘it’s perfectly healthy. There’s no reason to rescue it.’”
Less than an hour later, the turkey was dead; chased into a window by an off-leash dog.
“It’s very unfortunate and people there were very upset about it,” she said.
Now, Hoedeman wants to find the dog’s owner. She said people on Sparks Street told her he walks the dog off-leash every morning.
“When this happened, people told him to leash his dog, and he told them to mind their business and shrugged it off,” she said. If the turkey had been left alone, it would have likely made its own way off Sparks Street and been fine.
Turkey sightings are becoming increasingly common in the downtown core, she said.
“It’s really not that unusual especially now you have young turkeys that are out looking out for a mate.”
Hoedeman added on Twitter that the incident is a reminder that leash laws exist not only to keep dogs from biting people and other dogs, but also to prevent them from disturbing wildlife.
“Too many irresponsible dog owners ignore the law, then ignore or get angry at people who call them out. Or, they insist *their* dog would never hurt anyone or anything, then stand by while their pet predator disappears into the woods,” she wrote on Twitter.
“Worse, they just shrug when their dogs kill innocent animals. They laugh when their dogs chase wildlife, and even encourage them, as if it's fun and no big deal. But it *is* a big deal to the wildlife trying to survive in fragments of remaining habitat.”