Have You Seen The Mentor Turkey?
The turkey can be seen at Routes 306 and 84 and on the property of a welcoming Mentor family
Have you noticed a red-faced, thick-feathered, 45-pound turkey occasionally approaching traffic at the intersection of Routes 306 and 84?
A woman whose family lives near the busy crossroad has noticed much more in the months since the wild turkey coincidentally began wobbling and gobbling around the property two weeks before Thanksgiving.
"He crows in the morning by 8 a.m. if he doesn't hear movement from us," homeowner Mona Cramer said. "I don't know if he's trying to make sure everything is OK, but he watches us as much as we watch him."
Cramer said the turkey, whom her family has dubbed "Mr. Gobbles," only began venturing into traffic about a month ago. Before that, he would roam around her yard or take a stroll down Eastmoor Road, which is a block away from the Cramers' home.
Like many days, the turkey sat atop Mona's green van for hours on Wednesday. When he approaches traffic, he seems to wait for red lights, Cramer said.
That could be why there was more laughter than concern on the part of Mentor City Council members and officials when councilwoman Carolyn Bucey asked a question about the turkey at the regular meeting Tuesday night.
"If you're going north on 306 and you want to take a left on 84, she will not move," Bucey said. "I'm wondering if she can be relocated ... she's quite large. It's kind of comical, in a way, to watch people's reactions."
City Manager Kenneth Filipiak was not aware of the turkey before Bucey's mention, but joked that he would not "advise (council) to take on a turkey management program." He said that natural resource staff members on the city could look into the matter.
Cramer — who insisted the animal was a male and that its sex had been verified by visitors from Lake Metorparks and the Ohio Division of Wildlife — said that won't be necessary.
The Ohio Division of Wildlife worker came to check on the family this past weekend, but ultimately decided to leave the animal alone after learning that the Cramers had no issue with its presence.
"He's fine, he's healthy and he's not bothering us," Cramer said. "He does want to know where people are going, I'm convinced of that. "If it's rush hour, he'll prance himself out there, stand on one leg and watch (vehicles) go this way and go that way.
"He looks at people through the glass. He's just incredibly curious."
Councilman Scott Marn referenced a News-Herald article that suggested that the turkey could be looking for mate.
"It might not have any luck at 306 and 84 — it's not like a singles bar," Marn said.
Cramer said people trying to catch Mr. Gobbles is the one element of his long-term residency that is no laughing matter.
"I see people out there with bare hands and no cage, nothing, trying to catch him," she said. "I say, 'really? Do you think he's going to sit in the back of your car in a seat belt and behave?
"It's a wild animal."