NEW YORK (AP) — Say “wild” and “New York City,” and few might fill in these blanks: a flock of feral turkeys causing a flap in a city that defines urbanity.

But roving turkeys on Staten Island have become a topic as heated as a Thanksgiving meat thermometer.

Some residents see the birds as a mess-making, traffic stopping scourge. Others consider the creatures an impromptu natural attraction.

Dozens of turkeys were rounded up from the grounds of a psychiatric hospital and killed this summer, and again last month.

State and federal officials said they had to do something about birds that were encrusting walkways and railings with droppings.

But the roundups sparked an outcry — and an alternative for some of the birds. Some 28 were taken to an animal sanctuary in September.

filed under: