Petunia joined us here at Woodstock Sanctuary just after Thanksgiving in 2009. She had been brought alive to the holiday dinner as a gag, and when the joke was over she was left outside in the yard. Thankfully, she was found by a wildlife rehabber while being chased by kids in the street and was then brought to us with the help of our friend, Dawn Ladd.
Eager to start her life with her new family, on her first day here Petunia actually flew over her isolation pen wall to join the other turkeys. This is a feat that only a young commercial breed turkey could accomplish, as they are genetically designed to get too big even to walk easily, nevermind fly. Enthusiastic Petunia retained her fun spirit, often spontaneously tearing across the yard or driveway apparently just because she could. She also enjoyed hanging around when the pigs’ produce arrived, trying to get a few nibbles.
Petunia passed away suddenly in winter of 2014, most likely of a heart attack. The weight that genetic manipulation forces turkeys like her to bear can be hard on their little hearts. There is no question that Petunia enjoyed her life here at Woodstock Sanctuary, and we very much enjoyed her presence and friendship. We deeply miss our sweet feathered friend. She was an incredible ambassador for all turkey-kind.