CORINNE, Box Elder County — A turkey that chased after children and a dog in Corinne was shot and killed Sunday.
The family who called the Box Elder County Sheriff’s Office to get the aggressive bird out of their yard said it had been antagonizing them for more than an hour, even injuring their dog.
And it wasn’t the first time it’s happened, the family said.
Brady Davis said his family has had problems with the turkey for several weeks, but it reached a breaking point Sunday.
“One of my kids said, ‘Dad, the turkey's coming down the alley way.' And so we were just kind of doing our thing, watching it, and it just kept coming closer and closer," Davis said. "Eventually the dog saw it, got a little curious, went over there, and then the turkey started to go after the dog.”
He said the dog backed off and went back in the yard, but the turkey followed it.
Davis took cellphone video of the domesticated turkey nipping at their dog.
"At that point, we were like, 'This is enough,'" Davis said. “I tried pushing it away and stuff with sticks, and it didn't do much. It would back off and then turn around and come right back."
The turkey didn’t injure the children, but it did injure the dog, Davis said.
“He was bleeding,” Davis’ wife, Amanda, said of the dog. ”He had some lacerations to his face."
The turkey had somehow escaped from its pen in the next-door neighbor’s yard.
The Davises said they weren’t equipped to move the turkey on their own, so they called authorities.
A Box Elder County sheriff's deputy responded to the incident, "walked up to it, and it looked like it was going to attack him too,” Amanda Davis said.
The deputy shot and killed the bird.
“He had no other choice, or it would have got him,” she said.
Box Elder Sheriff's chief deputy Kevin Potter said the deputy "did what he had to do."
"He didn't want himself getting hurt. He didn't want the kids getting hurt," Potter said.
Since the incident, Amanda Davis said the family has received calls and text messages calling them turkey killers and saying her kids were tormenting the turkey.
“That’s not what it was,” she said. “It was somebody else’s animal was out of their yard, chasing people and hurting other animals.”
The owner of the turkey, Richard Waldron, said a friend gave him the turkey a few weeks ago. They had raised it as a pet, and he intended to keep it as a pet too.
Neighbor Shana Zogg said she couldn't believe the turkey would harm anyone.
"It was a really nice turkey," Zogg said Thursday. "My kids would play with it. The dogs would go over there, and the cats. (It) never hurt anybody."
"I'd go up and put my fingers through the fence and pet it on its chest," said neighbor Jeanie Farley. "I just can't imagine how a turkey can be aggressive and an endangerment to any person."
According to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, it is very common for turkeys to become aggressive toward humans, especially if they're comfortable with them.
While most people called the turkey a pretty bird, Amanda Davis saw something else.
"They have big beaks and talons,” she said, “It was big. It was by far bigger than our dog."
Contributing: Viviane Vo-Duc
Copyright 2016, Deseret News Publishing Company