Self Drive Tour Warning

We encourage visitors to include Dunedin on their New Zealand self drive tour because of the extensive marine wildlife that lives on the nearby Otago Peninsula. Yellow-Eyed Penguins, seals, albatross, dolphins and sea lions are just some of the wildlife to be found here. But today, there are signs that all is not well in Dunedin and we'll share a newspaper report that explains the reason.

'Otago Daily Times' journalist Margo Taylor writes - 

'A ''monster'' turkey is roaming the streets of St Clair and chasing people at a popular South Dunedin walking spot.

Martin Montgomery, of St Clair, first encountered the turkey when he was running up the Jacobs Ladder steps about a month ago.

''He jumped out at me and chased me in the dark.

''I didn't know what it was. It was huge so I initially thought it was a dog.''

Two weeks later the bird was in his driveway.

''I just pulled up in my car and when I got out I dropped everything and ran because he was going to have a go at me.''

On social media people have named it ''Tom Turkey''.

The bird had been seen in Aberdeen Rd, Earls Rd, Lock St, Jacobs Ladder, Valpy St and Norfolk St in St Clair, as well as in neighboring St Kilda.

Dunedin city councilor Conrad Stedman was also chased by the turkey, also on Jacobs Ladder.

''I had to duck out of the way. It was trying to take me out.

''It's a monster of a bird.''

A St Clair resident said he noticed the turkey a month ago.

The ''really big bird'' would not fit in his oven, so the resident had made attempts on social media to find someone willing to rehome it.

''It's a real survivor though,'' he said ''It's survived on its own for all this time.''

Attempts to catch the bird had been unsuccessful.

Otago SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) executive officer Sophie McSkimming said the organisation would intervene only if the bird became sick or injured'

The team here at New Zealand Vacations thought the people of Dunedin were made of sterner stuff and it would take more than a disgruntled turkey to make them nervous about their daily walk. 

But we suspect that you probably read this report with some skepticism, just like we did. Especially when you look below at the photo of the "giant" animal. An aspect of the people in this part of the world is their unique sense of humor and we do wonder if this as at work in this story.

We'll continue to monitor the situation on behalf of our customers until the "danger" has passed.

This is a photo, taken yesterday, of 'Tom Turkey' the so called "monster" turkey, the source of the current troubles.

turkey_060617_large.jpg#asset:5439

And here's a great New Zealand self drive tour that includes Dunedin and The Otago Peninsula, the 11 Day South Island Self Drive

Lindsay Barron

Lindsay Barron • Jun 06, 2017