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People are used to seeing dogs out and about. In the county, free-range chickens aren’t even obscure, but wild turkeys in the city will make anyone turn their head. One turkey, in particular, is gaining popularity. “Carl” is the newest attraction in the Forest Park neighborhood.

Happenings Magazine reports in an exposé on Carl, “He is a tom, he is larger than females (hens), he has a dark-colored chest, and a tuft of what looks like a feather coming from his neck, typically referred to as a ‘beard.’ His feathers are dark brown, orange, and bronze. He has ‘spurs’ on the back of his feet.  A tom’s head is a combination of red, white, and bluish coloring.”

Turkey Posts Take off on Facebook

Residents and people passing through the Forest Park area have found an interest in keeping up with Carl’s day-to-day antics. People have shared their experiences with Carl on the Nextdoor app and on Facebook. From there 2 Facebook groups were created.

Carl the Kenosha Turkey

The first page was created by Lisa Hawkins, a Forest Park resident. After multiple postings in a local group, Hawkins decided to create a group that would solely be dedicated to Carl, for community members to be able to chat about the local Tom’s sightings.

Hawkins says, “it’s really great to read messages or comments from members about how this is a bright spot in their day.”

Her group has nearly 5,000 members. One fan in particular, Koda Kraft’s, has created car stickers. The stickers read, “Brake for Carl,” and can be purchased on their Facebook page. The Two Oceans has Carl-themed t-shirts available in their online store as well.

The Two Oceans is a business comprised of two international artists, one of which is Kenosha native Jaime Brown. And while Carl isn’t the subject of the typical international mural art that they create around the world, he has captured their hearts. Jaime says that the Carl T-shirts are “a side project because I saw how much everyone loved him, and how much joy this goofy turkey truly brings to the community.”

Group members conversate about turkey-related topics such as crafts they are making with their children, how they can best protect their neighborhood friend, and discussions about how much people think he weighs.

Carl the Wild Turkey
Photos by Michael Nelson Credit: Michael Nelson

Another Kenosha resident, Michael Nelson, created the group, “Carl the Wild Turkey“, to share his love for this bird. He provides insight on how to interact with Carl in an article called “Have you met Carl?” by Happenings Magazine.

Nelson’s tips:

  • Pull your car far ahead and park.
  • Do not park in front of him as he will approach your car in the street.
  • You can take pictures from there or get out of the car but do not approach him.
  • Do not feed him, he has plenty of food. Feeding him can make him rely on food and become more accustomed to people. 
  • If he’s already in the street and you want to help shoo him back onto the grass, do not chase but follow him and corral him to the grass, then back off or he will keep going.
  • Do not use loud sounds such as car horns [or] sirens as that will stress him and aggravate him.
  • If you get too close, Carl will start moving, back up.

Both groups welcome people to join the conversation about Carl and most importantly respect his whereabouts. If you happen to see Carl, post about him in either of these groups.

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