Public Pressure Saves Gerald, the Rose Garden Turkey, from Gov’t Killing!

Gerald the turkey in the Rose Garden

Thanks to vigorous public pressure to relocate Gerald the turkey from the Morcom Rose Garden in Oakland, California to a safe habitat, the California Department of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) finally agreed to this proposal, instead of capturing and “euthanizing” Gerald on June 22nd, as was planned.

Conflicts arose in the spring between Gerald, a wild turkey living in the Rose Garden, and visitors to the park. The spring mating season, in which parent birds incubate, hatch, and aggressively protect their chicks, plus many more park visitors this year than usual, caused Gerald to act dangerously toward people, causing the CDFW to intervene.

Luckily, park visitors and neighbors did not want Gerald to be killed. Efforts to save his life included an online petition to “Protect the Life of Gerald the Rose Garden Turkey in Oakland, CA.” The petition garnered more than 10,000 signatures, and the campaign to save Gerald produced an ABC News story on June 19th.

As we go to press, Gerald has eluded capture in the Rose Garden, and negotiations to relocate him to Animal Place sanctuary in Grass Valley, CA, where he is eagerly awaited, are continuing.

Hopefully, once Gerald is humanely captured, there will be no snags in his relocation, preferably to Animal Place, where he will be protected, loved, and free to roam.

Gerald standing on sidewalk with people watching traffic. Photo: Mike Taylor