- photo: Derek Goodwin
In February 2014 said a tearful goodbye to our dear friend and wonderful ambassador for turkeys everywhere: Timmy.
He was mail-ordered as a tiny poult and raised in a residential area of Wappingers Falls, NY. When he started to wander off the property an outraged neighbor threatened to use him and another turkey, Tommy, as target practice. Fortunately our bookkeeper at the time, who lived nearby, got wind of the situation and brought Timmy and Tommy to the sanctuary.
His friendly personality was clear from the beginning, and we allowed Timmy to be a free-roamer around the sanctuary with our turkey ladies. He had an insatiable curiosity and urge to be where the action was. Timmy was often the first animal visitors would get to see close up, and often the first turkey most visitors had ever met.
With his gentle way and lack of fear he would stand still for gentle pets on his head and to have his feathers stroked–all while puffing up peacock-style in an attempt (usually successful) to impress. His favorite spot to hang out was right in front of our Visitor Center where visitors wait for the next tour or volunteers rest after chores. He and Star the goat are tied for the “Animal Most Likely to Photobomb” award.
One thing was always clear: he loved people and people loved him. Over the years we have received numerous e-mails and letters mentioning Timmy and how meeting him changed their views on turkeys and that they would never be able to eat a turkey again.
We can’t measure the impact Timmy’s made for turkeydom, but it’s huge. He taught so many visitors that turkeys relish life, crave companionship, and happily engage with people. And that they clearly don’t want to be roasted whole or sliced and put on rye bread!