Update: Elusive gobbler earns Bountiful cop’s respect; fugitive fowl redefines ‘flight risk’

A turkey casually evades capture by a Bountiful City Police officer. Photo: BCPD

BOUNTIFUL, Utah, Jan. 22, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — After a Bountiful City Police officer announced on Friday morning that he had given up trying to take a certain turkey into custody, he was presented with another chance to return the freedom-loving bird to its owner.

The gallivanting gobbler had been spotted in various places around Bountiful and was even caught on camera outside of a popular eatery — “Here’s a picture of where he was earlier, yes I’ve already checked KFC and I realize the irony of a turkey being at KFC,” the officer wrote.

A turkey struts in front of a KFC deep fried turkey banner in Bountiful. Photo: Bountiful City Police Department

According to comments on the officer’s original Facebook post, the feathered fugitive was also seen at the Cricket store, by the high school, by McDonalds, near Starbucks, at Chase Bank, at Smiths and Carl’s Jr.

The officer’s objective was to get the troubled turkey off the streets.

“It will not be deep fried,” he wrote, “it will be relocated by DWR to be with other exploration driven turkeys.”

After declaring the turkey “uncatchable,” though, the officer got word that the bird was asleep somewhere, so he and another officer went to check.

“Well, I found it outside of a parking garage, that I knew it could not escape from if the doors were closed,” he wrote. “The property manager agreed to close the doors to contain the turkey.”

A turkey on the run was finally located in a parking garage by a Bountiful police officer. Photo: BCPD

Because this was likely a turkey someone had purchased, the officer didn’t want to risk injuring it, so, with the turkey contained, he wanted to get the owner there for help and ideas.

“Now, the turkey waited patiently this whole time. I can only assume now that it was simply allowing me to get my hopes up of catching it, knowing that it could escape when it chose. It was analyzing the weak points in the containment strategy. It watched as cars left the garage. It saw the bay doors open, then close as soon as the car was through.

“As we had more cars move, it suddenly decided it was time to escape. From the complete opposite end of the garage, it effortlessly took flight, in a straight and true line, the moment the door opened again. It was once again free.

“Our turkey taming tactics were truly tomfoolery.”

The officer did finally meet the likely owner and learned they had purchased a turkey through an ad on KSL, and it escaped from their car in a Costco parking lot in November. It seems likely that this was the same bird.

But the story doesn’t end there.

“Now, mid flight towards the door, I made eye contact with the turkey. For a moment, we had a connection. We didn’t necessarily communicate, but I instantly knew that it wanted to be left alone. It was a turkey epiphany, turkiphany if you will.”

“Seriously,” the officer wrote, “there is no chance this turkey will be a pet, and the only way it’s getting caught is with a trap. It will be relocated by DWR. We must respect the turkey’s wishes to be left alone.”

Then this:

“All good things must come to an end.

“Turkey, if you’re out there reading this, I respect you.”

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