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ODNR captures, relocates wild turkeys in Hilliard

The turkeys, known as the “Hilliard Turkey Gang," have been running around neighborhoods in the city for about a year.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The last of the wild turkeys who have ruffled some feathers in Hilliard was plucked from the city.

The final turkey was captured by wildlife officers and was released along with his brother to Blendon Woods Metro Park, the city of Hilliard said in a Facebook post on Wednesday. 

The birds' new location will allow them to interact with other wild turkeys.

A third turkey was injured within the last month and taken to a rehab facility, according to ODNR.

The turkeys are part of what has been referred to as the “Hilliard Turkey Gang.” 

The group has been running around neighborhoods in the city for about a year. The turkeys have been so popular, their fans have a Facebook group.

According to members in the Facebook group, the turkeys are named after the city’s three high schools: Bradley, Darby and Davidson.

Though not everyone has been thrilled with the turkeys and their adventures around the city. Last month, the city responded to complaints from residents who asked about relocating them.

Officials said regulations set by ODNR prohibited relocation and the methods used to trap turkeys in remote areas are often impractical or ineffective in suburban areas due to safety or disturbance.

In the new statement on Thursday, the city said while relocation is not usually a step ODNR would takes, recent incidents made it evident it was the best choice.

These incidents include the one bird’s injury and reports of individuals trying to capture the others.

“We had hoped they would naturally move to a different location as breeding season began, but we believe humans have made it more attractive to stay in Hilliard. Finding them a new home out of the suburbs is the best outcome for everyone,” the city said.

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