A wild turkey is attacking people near the Anacostia Riverwalk Trail in Washington D.C., leading several government agencies, including the National Park Service, the Washington Department of Energy and Environment, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, to join the hunt for the fowl presence.

The 3½-foot tall male turkey has a blue head and neck, pink flaps on its chin, black breast feathers, and a large bronze fanned tail. The bird has attacked more than a dozen bikers and hikers in the city, several of whom needed tetanus shots and urgent care, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“There is an element of humor to it,” Dan Rauch, a biologist with the DOEE team trying to catch the turkey, told the outlet. “There is a terror turkey stalking a river trail. If I hadn’t seen the videos myself, I would have thought it was an urban myth.”


Most interactions with wild turkeys are harmless, though male turkeys are most aggressive during breeding season, which occurs between March and May.

Rare turkey attacks have been reported in the Washington metropolitan area over the years, including in the spring of 2021, but they have been more frequent since one particular bird was spotted last fall in Kenilworth Park & Aquatic Gardens, operated by the National Park Service, in Anacostia.

One woman said she warded off the turkey with a fanny pack. Another reported having to go to urgent care after the bird caused puncture wounds on the guest's legs in February.

The Washington Examiner reached out to the DOEE but did not hear back at time of publishing.

The bird may even be crossing state lines, as a turkey was spotted fleeing into Bladensburg, Maryland, according to news reports, attracting the attention of the Prince George’s County Parks and Recreation Department and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

The National Park Service is encouraging visitors who encounter the bird to notify it while steering clear of the feathery fiend.

“We understand the public wants to help, but please do not try to capture the turkey,” the park service said in a memo. “Just let us know if you see him.”


Turkeys aren't the only ones causing havoc in the nation's capital. Last month, there was a scare on Capitol Hill when a rabid fox began attacking people, including Rep. Ami Bera (D-CA). The fox was captured and euthanized along with its three kits.