Wilton High School finds itself with turkey trouble

The Wilton High School Field House became the new home to one animal for a few nights.

Wednesday afternoon school officials were able to successfully free a wild turkey from the Wilton High gym after several failed attempts. According to School Facilities Director Christopher Burney, the turkey had been in the rafters of the field house for two nights.

Initially school officials resorted to various tactics to lure the bird from its spot. However, Burney said both Wilton animal control and police couldn’t get the bird to move. The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection also failed after reportedly using lettuce and watermelon to try to attract the bird.

After many unsuccessful attempts the custodians decided to call Bats Be Gone, a wildlife control company.

“It took them a couple of hours, but they were able to catch it using a light net,” Burney said.

Once the turkey was safely captured it was released to the woods behind the school where it quickly ran off.

“It must’ve been hungry,” Burney said. “It hadn’t eaten in two days.”

The bird’s stay wasn’t without consequence. Gym classes had to be rescheduled or moved outside due to the lurking bird. In addition to this bird droppings were found. While most of the gym has been sanitized some droppings remained in the rafters. Burney said custodians are working to finish the cleanup, but the droppings are in a tough area to reach.

“We may have to wait for a lift to get up high,” he said.

Now, administration is looking to see if they can identify the students responsible by using security camera tapes. Two unidentified students were captured on video outside the school guiding the bird into the building, Burney said. If identified, their punishment could deter others from doing a similar act, he added.

“If we can identify them we’re going to send them a bill for the cleanup and overtime,” Burney said.