‘I dodged death’: Wild turkey looks unfazed by 30-inch arrow in her chest | California

For months, a wild turkey was seen roaming the hills of Carmel, California, with a 30-inch arrow stuck to its chest. It didn’t seem to bother her.

Locals first started spotting the bird, which they call Cupid, last winter. Since then, she has been photographed and filmed perching in trees, searching for caterpillars, dodging predators, and generally going about her business as if she had never been impaled.

“We were all shocked,” said Beth Bruckhouser, a spokeswoman for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Monterey County. “We don’t know how the turkey escaped death with this rooster. She’s incredibly lucky and so resilient.

Jay Churchward, a chief technology officer and wildlife photographer who lives in the area, first heard the bird’s tales last Christmas, at a community holiday party. A neighbor’s son saw an incredible scene. “A turkey with an arrow in it, I thought it was the strangest thing,” Churchward said. Months later, in May, he saw her for himself. “I immediately jumped out of my car to take a picture.”

He named her Cupid, and he has been pleading for her cause ever since, tracking her whereabouts with his 600mm lens to get a closer look at her wounds, and petitioning local wildlife agencies and the SPCA for help. He has offered to donate money or supplies to local agencies to help capture and treat her.

In recent weeks, neighbors have been sharing information about her whereabouts on community message boards.

Bruckhauser said the agency is reviewing videos and photos from Churchward and other residents, and is examining whether treating the bird could cause more harm than good.

Cupid is “still accepted by the herd” though the extra appendix sticks out. Photo: courtesy Jay Churchward

“She doesn’t appear to be suffering at this point from any kind of serious infection. She’s still moving really well. She’s able to fly. She’s still accepted by her flock,” Brockhauser said, noting that the arrow could have been shot. Only its feathers, not the bones, were pierced in. The organization is asking locals to contact them immediately if they discover it, so they can send an expert to take a closer look.

Cupid lives across two sprawling planned communities in the hills just north of Big Sur. Because its group covers a wide area, including the planned community of 2,000 acres Tehama, which is owned and developed by Clint Eastwood and neighboring Montera, Bruckhauser said it was difficult to track down. “Imagine the yellow hills and oak trees all around,” she said. “It’s the perfect habitat for wild turkeys.”

Judging by the length and color of her beard, Cupid looks like a chicken, at least a year old. Although some locals also wondered if the turkey was a juvenile male, Rebecca Dmytryk, director of Wildlife Emergency Services, a private volunteer group based in California’s Central Coast, said.

The SPCA said it is also looking for more information about who may have shot the turkey. Hunting in the area is illegal, and the locals suspect that the arrow that pierced Cupid is a training arrow rather than a hunting arrow intended for killing. “We were horrified that someone could be so cruel,” she said.

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Cupid is not the first bird to see death in his eyes, and keep moving.

Earlier this summer, the locals were in Fort Collins, Colorado observer Another turkey with an arrow going down on its back. In Homer, Alaska, volunteers helped save a Sand lifterwho was hit by an arrow in the chest and out of his wing, but was still roaming and feeding his foals.

But the most famous impaled bird is rostock Pfylstorsch, A white stork that was pierced with an iron-tipped wooden spear in Central Africa, then returned to Western Europe before finally being shot down by another arrow in Germany. In 1822, the bird helped Europeans solve the mystery of where the birds went during the winter. (Prior to this, many experts still believed birds hibernated, metamorphosed, or other, more fanciful explanations.)

In Carmel, Churchward and other locals remain hopeful that more can be done to help Cupid. “She seems to have done a good job on her own, but nonetheless,” he said. “You have to assume that the arrow is three times the width of the bird. What if this bird wants to pass through a narrow space? It will hit this arrow and this can open the wound.

The son of a bird lover, Churchward said he was obsessed with documenting the local wildlife, everything from falcons to hummingbirds. Wild turkeys may not be the most charming of the local animals, he said, “but we can’t place value on their lives.” “We were just looking for a way to help, and we’re at a loss.”

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