A Cal Poly employee was knocked unconscious Thursday afternoon after being attacked by a female turkey on campus, according to police.
The man, who stumbled backward trying to avoid the aggressive turkey, crossed paths with the hen and her baby chicks behind the College of Liberal Arts Faculty Offices (building 47), University Police Department Chief Bill Watton said. When the man tried to walk backward away from the turkey, he fell and hit his head.
The man later regained consciousness and was transported to the hospital for treatment, Watton said.
The California Department of Fish and Game came to Cal Poly the same day to transport the turkey to a more rural location on campus, Watton said.
“This is one of those things that’s easy to make light of,” he said. “But someone got hurt in this one. So it’s serious, people need to leave the turkeys alone.”
University police said they received calls Wednesday when a female turkey in the same location became confrontational toward individuals walking there, though no one was injured.
This is at least the second reported turkey attack to end in injuries at Cal Poly this year. The first occurred in March when a male turkey came toward a female student jogging near the Cal Poly “P” and left her with scratches on her arms and legs.
Watton said it is not uncommon for turkeys to display aggressive behavior as they have in these two incidents. For male turkeys, it is common during mating season; for females, it is common when their chicks are near.
Police did not release the man’s identity, citing privacy laws related to medical assistance.