BEVERLY — A turkey who wandered the streets of Beverly around Thanksgiving is not a wild turkey after all.
Lucky — as the turkey was dubbed by neighbors — was spotted in the Far Southwest Side neighborhood multiple times, with neighbors excitedly posting on social media about the bird’s adventures.
But it turns out Lucky is a domesticated bronze turkey hen, which means she might have been someone’s pet, said Erin Yanz, a Beverly native who runs a nonprofit animal rescue in northwest Indiana. Yanz captured the turkey Nov. 30 after the bird was found in the backyard of her cousin’s home near 103rd Street and Hoyne Avenue.
The Indiana State Board of Health and the Department of Natural Resources determined the bird was a domesticated bronze turkey hen, which often closely resemble wild turkeys.
No potential owner for Lucky has stepped forward, though.
“This situation becomes no different than if it had been a lost dog,” Yanz said. “It’s also possible someone bought the turkey, raised it and did this as a prank. Having grown up in Beverly … that would not surprise me.”
Yanz — who now lives near her farm in Hobart, Indiana – was back in her home neighborhood visiting her parents when her cousin, Morgan McGarry, called to report the turkey in his backyard.
“He called animal control, but they told him all they could do was put it down, and he said no, no, no. He didn’t want that,” Yanz said.
Yanz won’t say exactly where the turkey is now, but she confirmed Lucky is “in a safe quarantine.”
Yanz said Lucky will have a home on her farm, Erin’s Farm NFP, “if that’s what is determined to be best.” As of Monday, Yanz was still awaiting the turkey’s blood test results.
“We’ll follow Indiana protocol, and if it’s determined she’s healthy, we will have her here on the farm, free range,” Yanz said. “If that happens, she will find herself in a very safe environment surrounded by a nature preserve.”
It’s unlikely the bird could have survived the winter on her own, Yanz said.
“Its closest water source would be the Ridge Country Club or Saint Xavier University, and there are not a lot of native plants for her to find food in that neighborhood,” Yanz said, adding that the bird appeared to be underweight.
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