Turkeys move into Moorhead Mall

Fowl overpopulation gives Moorhead Mall a purpose of sanctuary

CASSANDRA TWEED | THE SPECTRUM They’re just big chickens.

For years, wild turkeys have terrorized the citizens of Moorhead, Minnesota, leaving fear in the hearts of all residents as they wander about the city. Many residents agree that the birds are overpopulated and need a place to go, but many have disagreed on where and how would be best to get them out of the city.

These birds have done everything from stopping traffic to scaring local college students. Some residents have taken to feeding the birds, thinking that if they give them what they want, they’ll go away. Others prefer to ignore the turkeys, hoping that if they don’t give them attention, they’ll look for it across the river.

The city council has looked at many options to get rid of these terrible birds. After their plans to send them to South Dakota fell through, they had to get creative with their ideas.

Some of the brightest ideas included catapulting them into Fargo, waiting until Thanksgiving and/or opening the world’s first Turk-fil-A. However, none seemed feasible until a recent proposal that has been put into action.

In this latest plan, residents no longer have to fear the turkeys, but instead embrace them in giving them their new home.

The idea, proposed by an anonymous citizen, involves taking Moorhead’s most abandoned and least-used building and using it to house the turkey population. The difficulty with this was picking from the long list of buildings to house over 200 birds.

It was decided that Moorhead Center Mall, originally created for the enjoyment and gathering of humans, would be better fit for these animals. With this realization, Moorhead’s first ever turkey sanctuary became a reality.

After no renovations or changes were made, the mall was turkey move-in ready. The doors will open for the turkeys late on April 1.

In the final days to say goodbye, the mall saw an increase in foot traffic from zero to one. That one person could be overheard yelling at their phone, “Not again Apple Maps! I could’ve sworn I clicked on West Acres!” They asked to remain anonymous for fear of what would happen if their friends knew they were there.

Mall employees stopped showing up to their shifts, although it is unknown if that was caused by the new sanctuary or for how long that has been a Moorhead Center Mall issue.

The city council hopes for an easy turkey transition and for them to voluntarily make their way into the mall. Otherwise, come April 1, the next challenge will be rounding up the turkeys and getting them to stay in such a place.

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