WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (CBSNewYork) – A beloved member of the community in Bergen County’s Washington Township has been found alive.
Eileen, a one-legged wild turkey, was found at the Raptor Trust Sanctuary for Birds of Prey in Millington around noon on Monday.
Eileen, who has reportedly roamed the township for five years, disappeared on Saturday.
1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports
Folks in Washington Township were worried sick, thinking that two men had birdnapped the turkey.
“I was very, very surprised about how many people are so outraged over this,” said Ruth Carrino, who gave Eileen her name and fed the turkey at the intersection of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue.
Eileen hopped about and became a bit of a local celebrity.
“She’s been around for so many years and she’s a survivor,” Carrino told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “She’s like our unofficial mascot.”
Carrino had put up $200, and anonymous donor put up $2,500, toward a reward for the bird’s return.
A crossing guard, who was helping search for the bird, got a tip on Monday that a turkey was brought to the Raptor Trust and then confirmed that the turkey was Elieen.
Police said the bird was picked up by a good Samaritan on Saturday night.
The man and his employee found the bird near the Garden State Parkway and thought she was in distress because of her calcified leg.
The good Samaritan took Eileen to his working farm in Watchung before bringing her to the bird sanctuary on Monday.
The bird is in good shape, but is being treated for a minor infection in her good foot.
Once she is released, she will be transported to the James A. McFaul Environmental Center in Wycokff, which will become her permanent place of residence.
The good Samaritan will be given the $2,500 reward.
If you know anything about the turkey, please call the Washington Township police at 201-664-1140.