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South Dakota backs out of Minnesota city's wild turkey relocation plan

Wild turkeys forage Monday, Feb. 11, on the 800 Block of Fifth Avenue North, Moorhead. Michael Vosburg / Forum Photo Editor

MOORHEAD, Minn. — A plan to relocate nuisance wild turkeys from this northwestern Minnesota city to South Dakota has taken a twist.

The South Dakota Department of Game, Fish and Parks has apparently backed out of the partnership recently struck with the city of Moorhead, according to councilwoman Sara Watson Curry.

During its Monday, Feb. 11 council meeting, members approved relocating 75 turkeys to eastern South Dakota, which would have required a Minnesota DNR permit and wild turkey management plan.

Watson Curry said in an email sent Feb. 20 that South Dakota was concerned that the birds are "too urban, not 'wild' turkeys.' "

"So we are back to the drawing board," she said, adding that the council will be moving forward with the management plan.

The plan will provide an opportunity for residents to provide input and learn more about this topic, she said.

The Minnesota DNR shares on its website that nuisance animals, like turkeys, will interact more with humans as the population expands, naturally, and some of these interaction will be negative. Some birds — typically "jakes" or yearling males — can be aggressive and chase homeowners, pets and kids.

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