CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio – Frank the wild turkey, whose antics around a north Cuyahoga Falls business district have made him a Facebook favorite, underwent surgery on Saturday for a badly broken leg.
The wild turkey has chased pedestrians, bicyclists and vehicles near the intersection of State Road and Steels Corners in the Falls for the last few years. On Dec. 7 he was struck by a car.
“He’s not out of the woods yet,” said Stephon Echague, supervisor of animal care at Stark Parks, Wildlife Conservation Center.
Stark Parks in Hartville, which cares for about 2,000 injured and orphaned native wild animals each year, took custody of Frank after the accident, and transported him to a veterinarian in Norton.
The turkey, whose leg was “very badly mangled,” will remain at the veterinarian for the rest of the week. When he’s released, Frank will be taken to Stark Parks to undergo extensive physical therapy. His progress there will determine whether he can be released back into the wild, Echague said.
“The first part of the hard part is over” she said. “Fingers crossed.”
How long therapy could take is unknown. However, if Frank can’t be released back into the wild there is one more option before euthanasia.
Ohio keeps a registry of wildlife rehabilitation facilities, where Frank could live out the rest of his life safely if he is a candidate and a facility is available to take him when he’s ready.
For the foreseeable future, Frank will be housed at Stark Parks giving physical therapy a chance.
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