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MT. LEBANON (KDKA) — There’s a resident in Mount Lebanon that’s causing quite a stir.
He’s not always courteous of his neighbors, he apparently has no problem breaking the law, and he sometimes displays hostile behavior, but he’s making a lot of people smile.
If you’ve ever driven on Washington Road in Mount Lebanon, you may have encountered him. It seems to be his regular hang out, and he apparently thinks it’s all his.
“He seems to be very at home in this area,” said Roy Hayward, a South Hills Co-op animal control officer. “He’s very settled in this area. We’ve had trouble with him since last summer.”
He hasn’t given anyone his name, but neighbors call him Stu, as in – turkey stew.
“He’s sort of like the neighborhood pet,” said Robert Kushner, a Mount Lebanon resident.
Stu has become quite the local celebrity for his daily antics near Vernon Drive and Washington Road. He turkey trots in and out of traffic without fear.
“He kind of wanders around, got in front of the car about a week ago,” said Kushner.
“One of the big concerns that we’re having with Stu is that people are starting to stop, get out of their cars and chase him off the road,” said Hayward.
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He’s also the subject of countless Facebook posts. Some of them say:
- “That turkey attacked my car!!”
- “He came right up to my car door! I was afraid he was going to start pecking at it!!”
- “I’ve seen him several times now, that is one crazy turkey!”
- “That bird belongs in the cuckoos’ nest.”
Vince Papurello recently captured cell phone video of Stu at the intersection of Washington and Cochran Roads. For several minutes, Stu ran alongside of a police vehicle, pecking and biting it, causing traffic backups.
But there’s a perfectly good reason for his wild turkey behavior.
“That turkey doesn’t know what he looks like, so when he sees his reflection in the side of the vehicle, he thinks it’s somebody that’s encroaching on his territory,” said Hayward.
Experts have a word of warning.
“They do have spurs on the back of their legs, and they use these to defend themselves, so if they got to the point where they felt threatened, they could possibly turn on the person trying to help them,” Hayward said.
Even still, neighbors seem to be happy to have Stu around.
“I think many of us have a dog or a cat, but we also have a turkey,” said Kushner.
Experts believe Stu has stayed in that same for area so long because someone has been feeding him.