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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Where have all the wild turkeys gone?

Published: December 3, 2010
Section: Opinions

As you walk around campus, one is bound to overhear questions of students passing by; some about class, some about lunch dates, some about whether Jason hooked up with another freshman. You become inundated with news, gossip and other useless information. However, while walking through the castle earlier today, I overheard a question that I have found to be too valuable to ignore. This question, not only, affects all of us as Brandeisians, but also the greater community of Waltham. The question was: Where have all of the wild turkeys gone? Currently, although the answer to this question remains unknown, I do have some theories that may comfort the masses who are obviously concerned with the disappearance of our bird friends.

By far the biggest news on campus is the loss of the beloved Brandeis turkeys, even if there are those anti-animal activists that are glad and may possibly be responsible for their disappearance. But let’s not point any fingers before we go into the facts themselves. It is very ironic that the turkeys have seemed to disappear so close to the great celebration of the Pilgrims on Thanksgiving. The last time that I heard about a sighting of these turkeys was on Monday, Nov. 29, when my Professor Jacob “Jerry” Cohen (AMST) discussed a brief encounter with the turkeys at Lemberg Children’s Center. He expressed his concerns about the safety of the children as well as the prospective danger of these Turkeys. He seemed to be interested in how the Brandeis administration plans on dealing with the turkeys and whether or not action should be taken. Only after hearing about the turkey’s migration to the Library, was Professor Cohen comforted once more.

One student posed an interesting theory of her concerns and ideas of the disappearance of the turkeys. Lisa Drikman ’13 cited Thanksgiving as a possible reason, however, her theory delved deeper than this. Over Thanksgiving break, most students tend to go home and spend the holiday with their families, leaving Brandeis campus looking like a ghost town. This, she says, is the optimal time for the local townies or Walthamites to invade campus and hunt the helpless turkeys to add the centerpiece to their Thanksgiving dinners. Once, they’ve got what they want, they leave, leaving the campus devoid of its luscious poultry. It’s obvious, she says.

However, a few questions are left unanswered. Are the presence of wild turkeys really a threat to the students or children on campus? Should the administration be the ones held responsible for removing said turkeys? Was Cohen responsible for the turkeys disappearing? Is there a way to safely deal with the turkey “issue” without affecting their well-being and without angering the animal activists on campus?

Although these are pressing questions, I personally am more concerned with the absence of the beautiful and graceful turkeys whose presence has always brought a smile to my face. Lately, campus has not been the same, and that is not an understatement. The air has been thickened with grief with their loss. I, for one, am extremely crushed by this mysterious phenomenon.