Update May 30, 2020:
Oakland’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Development, Department of Public Works, and Oakland Animal Services have collaborated on the decision to temporarily close the Morcom Rose Garden.
The City is aware of and is taking seriously several incidents of attacks by a male turkey in the park and considers this a public safety concern.
Wildlife is regulated by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW). CDFW has denied the City’s request to relocate the turkey, indicating that is not a solution, nor allowed by State law. The City has reported to CDFW the incidents of attacks on humans.
Currently, the City has been instructed by CDFW to keep the park closed, to prevent feeding of wildlife, and to attempt to train the turkey to keep distance from humans. We have been advised this will only work if all feeding of the turkeys and other wildlife stops completely.
It is hoped that visitors can return to the Rose Garden soon. The City will continue to abide by California State law and will follow CDFW instructions regarding when the park may reopen.
Learn more about the dangers and consequences of feeding wildlife here.
Posted May 23, 2020:
Oakland’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Youth Development has temporarily closed the Morcom Rose Garden to provide some time and space to work to prevent human – wildlife conflicts. We understand there is a family of turkeys in the park and the male has become aggressive toward humans. We also understand that some humans have been feeding the birds regularly in the park.
Out of concern for the public safety and the turkeys’ well-being, Oakland Animal Services, working closely with the Parks Department, has contacted the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for guidance and support.
Following the State’s Keep Me Wild campaign, the City is asking people to please stay out of the park, to respect the prohibition against walking dogs in the park, and to never feed wildlife of any type. In the meanwhile, Oakland Animal Services will work with the Department of Fish and Wildlife on opportunities to help retrain the turkeys and will work to educate our residents.
As has been seen across the globe, the retreat of humans as they shelter in place has led to an increase in the visibility of wildlife in urban areas. The City of Oakland respects the rights of wild animals to inhabit their natural homes and encourages all Oaklanders to support the right of our wild residents to remain wild.