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Wildlife is not an uncommon sight to see when walking around campus at the University of Northwestern, even wild turkeys. When first walking around campus you might be thrown off by seeing a wild turkey but they are not uncommon to see in St. Paul. These wild turkeys were reintroduced to Minnesota roughly 30 years ago

After interviewing many students on campus, there were mixed feelings about the turkeys seen wandering around. Many students enjoyed the turkeys while some said they were scared the first time they saw them.

One student shared a time in which she opened the door of a building and there were five turkeys standing outside of it. Needless to say, it scared her!

Another student shared, “The first time I saw them I was scared and thought they should be stopped.”

Opinions vary as to whether the turkeys are scary or a welcome addition to the campus.

“It’s the highlight of my day when I get to see the turkeys,” said one appreciative student.

“They seem so sweet, they would never hurt anyone.” 

But, would they?

anonymous UNW student

Are Wild Turkeys Dangerous?

This is the big question students at the University of Northwestern are asking. One student said “I’ve never had any reason to believe the turkeys will hurt me, but I still always wonder when I see them.”

The DNR is very clear that humans needs to assert their dominance to these birds in order for them to see humans as dominant in the pecking order.

So are these wild turkeys dangerous? Yes and no.

These birds should not be provoked or them can become dangerous, but as long as you are asserting your dominance to them in most cases they should leave you alone.

So next time you see a wild turkey wandering around campus just enjoy the beauty of God’s creation. If you ever see anything that looks suspicious about a wild turkey or any other wild animal you can call the Minnesota DNR at 651-296-6157.