Affection for Plymouth’s fearless/beloved wild turkey grows by the day
Every day is Turkey Day at Plymouth’s Dick Scott Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram business.
Since September, a male wild turkey has called the dealership (and its surrounding businesses and residences) home, wandering innocently through the spacious lot, admiring itself in the reflection of the glass doors and, periodically, disrupting traffic near the often-busy intersection of Main Street and Ann Arbor Road.
Nicknamed “Scotty” (after the dealership’s namesake), the bird has earned a soft spot in the hearts of the dealership’s employees and the drivers who exit their vehicles to carefully usher it to safety when it fearlessly challenges traffic.
“We let it do what it wants to do — we don’t bother it and it doesn’t bother us or our customers,” said Dick Scott General Sales Manager Jon Mabery. “In fact, I actually think our customers have come to like the turkey.”
Residents care about turkey’s welfare
Mabery said residents routinely pour food for the turkey on the grass near the sidewalk that runs parallel to the west side of the dealership, a practice Mabery said he attempts to deter so that the turkey will be forced to seek a safer home.
Scotty is featured on social-media posts weekly, the posters amazed at its bravado/lack of common sense as it struts in front of and between vehicles.
“People around here genuinely care about this turkey,” Mabery observed. “They bring him food, exit their cars and carefully shoo him off the road. I’ve heard that someone who lives (just northeast) of our dealership leaves a side garage door open for him so he has a place to sleep.”
Mabery said Scotty initially had a companion when he first visited the Main Street-Ann Arbor Road intersection last fall, but he appears to be living the single life now.
More wildlife seen in urban settings
Stephanie Beilke, Audubon Great Lakes’ senior manager, conservation science, said one reason more wildlife are routinely spotted in busy, inhabited areas is because the animals and birds feel more comfortable around humans, due in part to the expansion of development on property that formerly was rural.
A recent eight-day period when Scotty was absent from the dealership’s lot created a level of anxiety among the Dick Scott staff.
“We weren’t sure if he had been hit by a car, or what,” said Commercial Sales Consultant Rose Mabery. “But wherever he went, he returned, which was a relief because at least we knew he was safe.”
Attempts by the Department of Natural Resources and others to transport the turkey to less-busy property have proven to be unsuccessful, Jon Mabery said.
“We’ve seen people come out with nets to try to catch him so they can move him somewhere safer,” Mabery said, “but they’re not going to catch him. He’s just a little too slick for everybody.”
Mabery said Scotty eluded capture one day by flying onto the roof of the nearby Lover’s Lane business on Ann Arbor Road.
“I’m guessing he’ll end up leaving sooner or later,” Mabery said, when asked what he thinks is in store for turkey’s long-term future. “I doubt he’ll be here forever, but you never know.”
What is clear is that the Plymouth community has created a special affection for Scotty, who — wild traffic-lingering antics aside — has evolved into a welcomed resident.
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