Jake the turkey on Warren Street in Revere in October 2017.
Revere's Jake the turkey in October 2017. (Spenser R. Hasak)

Environmental Police move Revere’s ‘Jake the turkey’ to an undisclosed location

REVERE — Residents worried about foul play need not worry. "Jake the Turkey" is safe at an undisclosed location south of Boston.

He was the city's unofficial mascot and earned a legion of Facebook fans. Jake called Revere home for two years. But now the 19-pound eastern bird is settling in at new surroundings.

The 2-year-old turkey was recently escorted from the city to somewhere by the Massachusetts Environmental Police. Spokeswoman Katie Gronendyke declined to say where the bird was taken or make the officer who captured and delivered him available for an interview.

Anthony Masiello, Revere's animal control officer, said Jake first showed his feathers two years ago on Malden Street off Cushman Avenue.
"We think he was hatched in the city," he said. "Young Jake got his own territory, mostly on Broadway, and fended off other birds."

When the turkey arrived, Masiello received calls about wild turkey sightings. Soon after, the city was fielding complaints about Jake blocking traffic.

He made himself at home at the Central Fire Station on Broadway and nested in the bell tower. He didn't appear spooked by the sirens and the massive fire apparatus because he routinely hung out in front the station holding up traffic.

Police Chief James Guido told the Revere Journal he liked that Jake took to the city's busiest intersections.

“I wish I could teach him how to direct traffic,” Guido said.

Mayor Brian Arrigo said he often spotted Jake on Broadway, Park Avenue, and downtown.

"He was a welcome addition to the community," he said. "At Thanksgiving, I joked about pardoning him. I didn't do it officially, but we had a few laughs."

As Jake became more well-known, someone created a Facebook page for him. So far as he has more than 1,000 followers.

"My name is Jake, I'm an eastern Turkey that lives in Revere," someone wrote on his behalf. "I do what I want, when I want...I hold up traffic, hang out in the projects and eat bugs all day."

He's amassed dozens of friends who brought him dried corn and made sure he was safe, Masiello said.

Here's a sample of comments on his Facebook page.

Jess Roldan wrote "My kids and I love Jakey. I know everyone’s always in a rush to get nowhere. But when he’s blocking the way, embrace it! He’s one of us Reverians. Jakey, you always make our day! Stay safe little guy."

Chrissy Hudson wrote she fears for his safety.

"I love Jake the turkey...I see him when I am waiting for the Beachmont bus in the projects. Great how he can just demand respect and cause a traffic jam. Be safe Jake!"

Diane Piper wrote Jake made her day.

"Even when he blocked the road and wouldn’t let me pass... he made me smile. I was worried watching him strut down Broadway. I hope he is safe."

Three weeks ago, when temperatures hit sub-zero, many of Jake's followers became concerned, while others feared he might get hit by a car.

That's when Masiello called the Environmental Police for advice.

"They told me to leave him alone," he said. "But when state Rep. RoseLee Vincent (D-Revere) called them recently, they came out and netted him on Park Avenue."

Masiello said he heard Jake was taken to a farm in Middleborough, in Plymouth county.

While he won't be fielding any more calls about Jake, Masiello said he'll have fond memories of the bird.

"When he was on the street, I could drive up to him, open my window, tap on the side of the door and he would walk over to me so I could get him to follow me out of harm's way," he said. "I miss him."

His advice for future turkeys: Don't feed them.

"Once you feed them, they get dependent on that source of food and lose the wildness side of surviving in the wild."

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