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Official: Ore. college campus overrun by wild 'gangster' turkeys

Paul Ely shared this photo of turkeys on Pearl Street in downtown Eugene via BURST.com/KVAL

EUGENE, Ore. - A community college in Eugene, Ore., is being overrun by wild turkeys.

Eugene City Council member Greg Evans, who works at Lane Community College, says there are "gangster" turkeys roaming around the campus. (A group of turkeys is known as a "gang" or "rafter.")

"There is turkey feces everywhere," Evans said, "and they're not scared of humans."

The wild turkeys, along with a burgeoning population of rats and other urban wildlife around Eugene, have prompted the City Council to take action.

The city is ramping up a public relations campaign to educate the public on how to rat-proof their yards.

For turkey control, officials are tilting toward something stronger.

"My interest would be an ordinance that bans feeding wildlife, and then you can create exceptions to it," said council member Chris Pryor.

Those exceptions would include allowing domestic bird feeders.

"But if in the course of feeding the wildlife you're causing your neighbors property damage, then you're in violation of the ordinance," suggested Christopher Yee, a biologist from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. Yee said other Oregon communities have had success with such measures.

The Council directed City Manager Jon Ruiz to return in a few weeks with options for a rat and turkey control measure ordinance.

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