The wild turkeys at The Crescent neighborhood in Bluffton continue to gobble up attention.
After learning that the "nuisance" turkeys were not being relocated but instead euthanized once removed, some residents in the community have started a petition to save the birds. So far, 18 turkeys have been killed.
Created Saturday, the online petition had 51 signatures as of Monday afternoon, with a goal of 1,000.
"I wanted to give the people who felt the same as I do and enjoy the turkeys the opportunity to voice their opinions and thoughts through this online petition," said petition creator and Crescent resident Claire Neal.
"I do hope that through petitioning, people will hear about this and put some pressure on the property owners association and (the S.C. Department of Natural Resources) to rethink their position and consider other options."
Bill Capshaw, safety and security chief of The Crescent owners association, said he will not give much weight to petition signers who don't live in the neighborhood, but he will hear complaints and concerns from Crescent residents.
"If the people in The Crescent all get together and say, 'Bill, we don't want you to touch another turkey,' then I would, through approval of the full board, cease what is going on," Capshaw said. "But what we have in reality is that these birds have created a real nuisance."
Residents said the birds were chasing cars down streets, defecating in yards, perching on roofs and pecking at homes and cars.
After receiving complaints from residents about the 100 or so birds, Capshaw contacted DNR to find a solution.
The original plan was to move them to Daufuskie Island, but observations showed they were too unafraid of people to put them in a populated area, according to DNR biologist Jay Cantrell. They also could not be introduced into the wild, he added, because the department believes they are not true wild turkeys.
Cantrell has said the decision to euthanize the birds wasn't made lightly, but they didn't have many options.
Several residents, however, said they don't believe killing the turkeys was justifiable. They say there's another option.
One Crescent resident, Richard Michael, has a farm in Jasper County he said the turkeys could be moved to.
"Anything is better than doing what they are doing," said Michael, who signed the petition.
However, DNR officials have said they won't transfer nuisance wildlife from one place to another. Attempts Monday to reach DNR were unsuccessful.
Capshaw said he is waiting to hear from DNR to discuss the next steps. Cantrell said they might remove as many as 40 to 50 of the birds.
"I want to ask if there are any other alternatives, like if we could take them to the farm, for example," Capshaw said. "I want to know what else we might be able to do, because we have a lot of people upset."
Neal, Michael and other petition-signers said that is all they want -- to pursue and find an alternative to euthanizing the birds.
"We are sympathetic to our neighbors, and if these birds are causing havoc in their yards, I completely understand and agree that they should be relocated," Neal said. "But I don't think that they should be killed for that reason."