Ashwaubenon community grieves end of Smoke the Turkey's reign
Ashwaubenon's world-famous Smoke the Turkey has been captured and re-located.
"This needed to be done,” Smoke's neighbor Don Foncree. “It was a little bit overdue, but he will be missed."
Ashwaubenon Public Safety says USDA Wildlife Biologists captured the turkey, known as the unofficial mayor of Ashwaubenon, on Friday morning.
"Smoke was captured humanely and was not injured," reads a statement from Capt. Jody Crocker.
The USDA worked with local DNR employees to relocate Smoke to a wildlife area.
It will "allow him to live freely in the wild with other turkeys," Crocker says.
Officials did not release the name of the wildlife area.
Smoke has become a global phenomenon. He made national and international news this week after Action 2 News aired video of a turkey believed to be Smoke chasing a boy down a street. A driver swerved to cut the turkey off to get him to stop chasing the child.
“He was always hopping through the woods, checking things out or chasing people down the street sometimes,” Smoke’s friend David said.
Smoke started to gain attention earlier this year when the Facebook group "Smoke the Turkey - Mayor of Ashwaubenon" popped up. Facebook users would post about their encounters with Smoke, photos and videos.
Many community members told us they're devastated.
"It'll be hard to come to work and realize he's not going to be there anymore," David said.
"I think it's kind of sad that they did that to him," neighbor Tammy Czachor said. "Why can't we just all love him and like appreciate him and just be cautious?"
Smoke riled some people up because he was known to chase cars and "direct traffic."
He evaded capture several times. He was
but that didn't seem to phase him.
Smoke's notoriety even caught the attention of Stephen Colbert, who featured him during a segment on The Late Show.
'"They liked our story that the people that are fans of him that want to connect humanity together to say we can co-exist with the wildlife," Czachor said.
"When you see something wild that you're able to come into connection with, it's a rare occasion," Foncree added.
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