Missing Beloved One-Legged Bergen County Wild Turkey Found

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.

  • Frank

    They should return Eileen to washington twp. It’s her home

  • blahblahblah

    Ruth Carrino was nice enough to feed the one-legged turkey but mean enough to name it “Eileen” huh? (I-lean.)

  • Theresa

    I know he did a good thing thinking he was caring for the bird but giving him the reward, really? You’re giving the reward to the person who took the bird in the first place? To me that really sets a really bad precedent. I’m glad the bird is getting cared for though.

    • ginger johnson

      He didnt get a dime…not a penny …. he’s a liar…wanted to use her in his “animal show” like a “beared lady in a circus” til he heard the “heat” was on for her return…that’s the power of Facebook….

    • Atkins

      No. I think the people who birdnapped her dropped her off near the GSP where another fellow and his employee found the bird. I don’t think the bird could have traveled on its own all the way from its outdoor home to that area near the GSP where she was found. At least that’s the way I understand the story. These writers need to tell the facts a bit more clearly.

      • ginger johnson

        HI…she was never near the GSP…she was always at Washington Ave/Pascack Rd. by Seasons Catering….the guy is a liar….he saw her….he has a business of showing off wildlife to schools…thought she’d be a good showing like a “bearded lady in a circus”….the gas station attendant saw two men chase her, corner her…grab her and running down Pascack Rd…doesn’t sound to me like “good samaritans”…more like seeing $$$$ signs….the power of Facebook, the outpouring of concern of WT residents…put him in panic mode and he turned her in to Raptor Trust…I have all the info of his stories…he kept changing them with Raptor Trust…..at least, its a happy ending…TY FB!!!!

  • Tom Tom

    Nice to see a happy ending…it would also be nice if the good Samaritan donated part of the reward money to the Environmental Center to help with “Eileen’s” care and well being. I’m sure the Center would appreciate it.

  • diver

    Found her just in time for 2012 Thanksgiving.

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