Hapless tourist mobbed by wild turkeys in National Park

Wild turkeys in Georgia, USA
(Image credit: Getty)

Thanksgiving is here, but it's best to give the wild turkeys a wide berth. That was a lesson one woman learned the hard way on a trip to the Smokies, where she got too close to a pair of the birds and found herself being mobbed and chased around a tree.

The incident was captured on camera by photographer Dennis Tudor and shared on now infamous Instagram account TouronsOfYellowstone, which is dedicated to careless behavior at US National parks – often involving wildlife.

In the video, which you can watch below, the woman attempts to shoo the birds away with her phone, which she has presumably been using to snap photos at close range. She finds herself on the wrong side of her car door with a barbed wire fence blocking her way as the clip ends.

It wasn't always so easy to stumble across one of these mighty birds. The National Park Service explains that wild turkeys became nearly extinct due to habitat loss and hunting pressure in the early 20th century, but natural reforestation and a restoration program have seen them successfully returned to every US state except Alaska.

Like any wild animal, wild turkeys can become bold and even aggressive if they are used to being fed by people, and have come to see them as an easy source of food (a phenomenon known as food conditioning). Regular positive interactions with people make them more likely to seek out humans and their settlements in future.

They are territorial animals, and often respond aggressively when they see their reflection in shiny objects. They also have a strict 'pecking order' and the Humane Society explains that they may see people and animals that show fear as beneath them, so make sure you show dominance by making noise, making yourself look bigger, or opening an umbrella in their direction.

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 15 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better), usually wearing at least two sports watches.