NEW CASTLE, Ind. — For nearly a month, a wild turkey was living large in New Castle, posing for cameras as he strutted up and down Ind. 3 in the heart of the city, and visiting nearby businesses.
He created as much excitement in town as the Trojan basketball team did a few weeks earlier. But the mayor’s office reported Friday morning that he was killed in a “hit-and-run” accident Friday morning.
The turkey, surprisingly visible in the area of New Castle surrounding South Mound Cemetery that flanks both the east and west sides of Ind. 3 in the center of town. visited Clancy’s Car Wash, Cafe Royal and other area businesses, and was frequently walking through traffic in a 45-mph speed zone.
Police were frequently called to the area to direct traffic or shoo the turkey out of the road.
“He comes around, right in our parking lot, and he stops traffic a lot,” said Charlene Dent, owner of Cafe Royal. “People walk in and say, ‘Your turkey is here again.’ “
Brandon Atwood, an employee at Wimmer Manufacturing on County Road 100 S to the west of the cemetery, said Thursday that he saw the turkey every day, wandering around the cemetery or along 100 S behind the cemetery.
“That’s sort of known as his area,” Atwood said a day before word started spreading of the turkey’s death, which had been feared by many because of his frequency of being in the road.
Mayor Greg York, who owns Wimmer, told a reporter Wednesday that there were four turkeys roosting in an area behind his business.
Celebrity turkey “Free Bird” stops traffic in New Castle
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