ARGYLE, Texas — A beloved wild turkey has delighted neighbors in Argyle for years, but his fondness of cars and trotting into traffic is causing concerns about safety for him and for drivers.
“He will stand out in the middle of the street. He has no fear of cars,” said Argyle Mayor Donald Moser.
The turkey some call Tom, others call George, is the believed to be the last of his kind in the largely rural area that has seen more development over the years. Lauren Koenig lives in the neighborhood he has been known to frequent and sees the turkey all over the place.
Sometimes, in the wrong place.
“Unfortunately, he will go out onto Highway 377,” Koenig said. “Locals know to dodge him, but as we become a bigger town, he has become more of a nuisance.”
Highway 377 is the main thoroughfare through Argyle with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour, and drivers often have to swerve to avoid hitting Tom. Police Chief Temple Cottle said they will get 911 calls from people worried about the safety hazard, but the law is on the turkey’s side.
“He is a wild animal, so he is protected,” said Cottle. “We try to shoo him back towards his habitat. He definitely has a fan club concerned about his safety and we are, too.”
Koenig and other neighbors are trying a new plan of feeding him deeper into the neighborhood. She hopes it will keep him further away from the highway.
The Argyle Auto Care shop is one of his favorite hangouts, possibly thanks to his love of automobiles. “I think he likes big vehicles with big tires,” said Cottle.
Past proposals to relocate the turkey to a sanctuary have been met with resistance from neighbors who enjoy having him around as a neighborhood pet.