Turkey survives Thanksgiving, finds home at Chattanooga zoo - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Turkey survives Thanksgiving, finds home at Chattanooga zoo

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By Megan Boatwright
Channel 3 Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB) --  The Chattanooga Zoo has a new addition for Thanksgiving.  A domestic turkey they dubbed "Lucky".

Earlier this week, a family on Dodds Avenue found the 35 lbs bird in their yard.  They believe he fell off a moving truck, and wandered into their neighborhood.  After keeping him overnight they surrendered the turkey to the zoo. 

"I thought, you've got to be kidding me, this close to Thanksgiving and there's a turkey in the neighborhood," says Anthony Johnson, who has a new found love for the bird of the season this year.

"I looked around the house for a rope or a string or something," he says. 

What the construction worker found that day was an extension cord, which he used as a lasso. 

"I just tugged him along," he says.  He came right with me.  Since the turkey is domestic and clearly overfed, it's easy to guess where he was headed.

"He made it off the interstate, down Dodds Ave. past pit bulls, German Shepherds and a terrier," Johnson says.  "I figure he deserves something better than a dinner plate." 

"I was very surprised," says Keeper Laura Lomenick with the Chattanooga Zoo.  "I wasn't expecting to get this kind of turkey for Thanksgiving." 

Lomenick has been caring for the bird, now lovingly dubbed "Lucky". 

"I can open his cage, clean and feed him," she says.  "He'll just sit there. He'll even let you pet him." 

The only down side to becoming friends with a turkey at Thanksgiving is loss of appetite.  "I believe I'll be eating more ham," Johnson says with a laugh. 

There is a wild turkey display at the Chattanooga zoo.  However, since "Lucky" is a docile domestic bird he won't integrate well.  Zoo Director, Darde Long, plans to find him a home on a farm.   

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