The turkey locked eyes with her from across the park.
Like many Oaklanders, sixteen-year-old Jojo Thompson had heard plenty of stories about Gerald, the “feisty” turkey harassing visitors in the city’s rose garden. But before visiting the seven-acre public park with a friend on a recent October afternoon, she thought the tales had been exaggerated.
After seeing the agitated turkey closing in on some people nearby, Thompson and her friend took refuge behind a tree. But they weren’t safe for long – Gerald soon had the teens in his sight. The bird started stalking them, menacingly, Thompson recalled, then chased them up the hill and out of the park. She lost both her shoes in the process.