Two Turkeys Avoid Becoming Thanksgiving Meals by Jumping Off Truck Bound for Market
Two turkeys in Wisconsin managed to save themselves by falling off a truck as it drove them to market.
A couple of police officers from the town of Wausau responded to calls Sunday about the two birds and found them huddled beneath a tree beside the highway.
Not about the give up their newfound freedom, the birds fled from the officers.
Concerned for the safety of the 30-pound birds and for that of holiday motorists on the busy roadway, the officers called Marge Gibson, Executive Director of Raptor Education Group Inc. in nearby Antigo.
Eager to help but busy taking care of several bald eagles that had just come into her facility with lead poisoning, Gibson said she could take in the turkeys but couldn't spare any volunteers to pick them up.
Eventually two volunteer drivers from an area rehabilitation facility called Wild Instincts took the call.
When they arrived to the side of the highway, the police had nabbed one of the birds and volunteers Mike Disher and his father-in-law Tom Rueger helped nab the other, reports the Wausau Daily Herald.
The birds were transported back to Gibson's facility and the avian expert plans to take the lucky turkeys in. But don't give her all the credit for this Thanksgiving miracle rescue.
"There were so many people involved," Gibson told INSIDE EDITION, pointing not only toward the police and the volunteers at Wild Instincts, but also to the gentleman who saw the turkeys fall from the truck and called authorities.
"Without everyone stepping up, the end would have been terrible," Gibson said.
Gibson also stressed how close the birds came to disaster.
"They're not real fast, they're big," she said. "To get themselves off the road, was kind of remarkable."
They're also remarkable for their breed. The birds are not typical domestic turkeys. Instead, they're a heritage breed known as blue slate turkeys and exhibit a cornflower color and dalmation-like mottling.
Heritage breeds are turkeys that have both domestic and wild turkey lineage that can be traced back at least to the 19th century. According to Gibson they live longer than their purely domestic cousins.
The two turkeys she took in could live 12 to 15 years or even longer, Gibson believes.
Gibson told INSIDE EDITION that her two newest houseguests (she and her husband live on the Raptor Education Group property) don't yet have names. Until they do, she's calling them Lucky 1 and Lucky 2.
The Luckies, which are likely brother and sister, already have an avian friend in Gibson's house turkey--a wild turkey named Tori that the family has had for six years.
Tori even has her own Facebook page and took to it to express her annoyance with the new additions.
"Oh MAN...just what we needed two more turkeys in the household. I hope they know they will be OUTSIDE turkeys after they get better. They were pretty smart, if I say so myself. Not as smart as me of course, but still...Can you believe this?"