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Saved From Being Thrown to Their Deaths

Written by PETA | October 27, 2011

For the past 65 years during Yellville, Arkansas’ annual “Turkey Trot Festival,” residents have hurled live turkeys out of airplanes at high altitudes for the “pleasure” of watching the wild birds—who naturally only fly short distances at low altitudes—drop to the Earth. Many are badly injured or killed, and others are tackled and taken home to be eaten for Thanksgiving dinner. But this year, not only were no turkeys tossed, two lucky birds were also rescued and are now living in a loving home!

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) swarmed the area, promising that any pilot caught throwing turkeys would risk losing his or her license. Apparently, the would-be turkey-tossers decided it wasn’t worth the risk—not one turkey was dropped! PETA is also offering a $5,000 reward (which still stands) for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone caught throwing turkeys out of airplanes.

To “get back at PETA” for objecting to this cruel tradition, one woman tried to buy two flightless, domesticated turkeys so that she could hurl them from the roof of the town courthouse! A PETA activist quickly intervened, warning the sellers that they would be aiding and abetting in a crime by selling the birds for this purpose, and she convinced them to give the birds to her instead. After getting veterinary care for one of the birds, who had suffered injuries to her face and neck, likely from abuse, PETA found the birds a wonderful home. Now named Lori and Walfredo, the turkeys are living the good life on a spacious farm with a loving family.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

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  • Anthea Huntly says:

    I am disgusted at this practice, it is bad enough what the eastern world is doing to beautiful foxes, bears etc etc but to put this “fun” practice into a so called civlised western world is beyond me. I too am ashamed to belong to the human species, other animals just do not do this, they kill quickly for food, or defence, but that is as far as it goes. Humans are the only animals that kill for “fun” and trophies.

  • Josee says:

    This is amazing! Great job PETA! You guys are fantastic and amazing human beings. Love you all.

  • morgan says:

    i live on a farm and we have turkeys. we dont eat any of are animals and they all have names. are royal palm turkey, Chicken Wing, runs loose with are dogs and plays with the pigs and cat. but if he jumps off of something more than 2 feet he does a face plant. why would a person do something so disgusting?? i can’t even imagine the pain those heavy birds would go through after being dropped from 100s of feet. i dont think people understand that they feel, have very real and distinguished personalities and do express fear. i haven’t heard of this around here but anything i can to help spread the word or do something i will.

  • grace says:

    this is so sad and should be illegal.

  • Irene Leggett says:

    How can anyone, anyone with a heart and soul that is, even consider that this cruel atrocity is ‘fun’ and ‘entertainment’. This surely is the human race gone mad, where’s the compassion, the empathy and certainly the moral ethics? Shame on all who participate and all who watch, have you lost your last shred of decency? And to the person who wanted to carry on this so-called ‘event’ you’ll get your just deserts!!!

  • imvegan says:

    @ rachel-dudie, i know EXACTLY HOW YOU FEEL!

  • rachel says:

    nothing has ever shocked me so much in this world as human cruelty towards animals. i am sorry to be part of the human race! i just can’t comprehend that people would actually do something like this and it breaks my heart. i mean a decent human being would not even think of doing such a thing.

  • Domcia says:

    There are no words to describe what you do, PETA. Such lovely people.. just wanted to thank you. THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH! x