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One-Legged Turkey 'Eileen' Is Safe, Treated for Infection, Police Say

Residents offered a reward for the turkey's return after witnesses saw two men take it away Saturday.

Update: Eileen is back in Washington Township. A representative from the Raptor Trust said the turkey was deemed healthy enough to return to her home.

A one-legged turkey that some Washington Township residents feared was in danger after witnesses saw two men snatch it up Saturday has been found and is safe, according to Washington Township Police Lt. Gregg Hackbarth.

The turkey, nicknamed "Eileen" by residents who feed her near the intersection of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue, was treated for an infection at The Raptor Trust wildlife rehabilitation facility in Millington, Hackbarth said.

After her treatment, officials planned to bring Eileen to the James A. McFaul Wildlife Center in Wyckoff. They later decided Eileen was healthy enough to return home.

McKinley Avenue resident Ruth Carrino said she and other neighbors in the area where Eileen lived were offering a reward for the bird's safe return. According to Assemblyman Bob Schroeder, the total sum offered reached $2,700.

"I'm just ecstatic," Carrino said.

According to Carrino, Eileen had been living in the area for about five years and her yard in particular for the past year. Schroeder, a Washington Township resident, said he was also glad the turkey had been found safe, describing her as an "icon" for all the drivers who pass by and commuters who catch the bus at the nearby stop.

"She's pretty much the town mascot," Carrino said. "Everybody knows her."

B@B March 06, 2012 at 06:32 PM
This makes me happy out of all proportion to its importance. I'm happy that we can still have faith in people.
joanne anastasi March 07, 2012 at 01:29 PM
The WT town turkey had been doing ok for 5 years, as stated in the article. I do not agree with that these men took it upon themselves to make this decision. If Eileen had been in any distress that would have been a different story and acceptable...
resident March 07, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I hoping Eileen did not get the infection from living near that grossly infected house owned by Seasons. Maybe the unapproved landfill was the cause.
Ruth Carrino March 07, 2012 at 08:13 PM
The story about the capture for "good samaritan" reasons is hogwash....the men owned a petting zoo and saw the publicity and infection and turned her in to Raptor Trust...they were vague when asked their identity...she was CHASED down.....I am the person who was feeding her on the corner and want to thank the residents for their care and concern...will post more news when I hear it,,,,Ruth
Pauline March 08, 2012 at 12:08 AM
Hope all's well with the turkey & look forward to future posts re this matter from Ruth/others.
Kenneth March 08, 2012 at 03:53 AM
I have to admit, though it is surprising to me, I felt something for Eileen the turkey. I am very happy to hear she is someplace safe where she can, hopefully, live out her days in peace. I hope it will be the same for all of us.
Ruth Carrino March 08, 2012 at 10:19 PM
Eileen has returned to the Township today. The Raptor Trust felt she would be much better in an area where she was familiar. I told Raptor Trust the area was a dangerous intersection, but they felt she was able to survive this far and she would continue to do so. They also relayed the law of the Fish and Game Dept. is very adament aboutt CAPTURING her and keeping her confined. Let's just enjoy her and hope she finds a safer place to hang out. Regards, Ruth Carrino
A.D. Hembrough March 12, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Thank you Ruth for all your care, concern and kindness that you have given to Eileen during her stay in the township. I had missed seeing her on my daily jaunts about town and glad she is back. To all drivers, be careful at that corner of Pascack Road and Washington Avenue. And to all that have expressed their concerns about feisty Eileen, well, it's also a great feeling to know that their are people who care about the rest of us "old birds" that live here in the Township.
Glenn M. Muller July 31, 2012 at 01:00 AM
Well intentioned but misguided people feeding wild animals is what created the problem to begin with. Without the handouts, she might have returned to the wild. Instead she became dependent on humans to sustain her in a less than ideal environment.
James Leggate July 31, 2012 at 01:13 AM
They ended up letting Eileen stay. The follow-up story is here: http://patch.com/A-r6Q6 I believe no one has been feeding her since, unless you know of a new development?
Ruth Carrino July 31, 2012 at 11:03 PM
I don't feel I am a misguided person by helping an injured bird try to survive.. She was always wild and exhibited wild tendencies, as I just helped her to eat. She was not able to forage and scratch in a normal way due to her leg injury. I will ALWAYS help an animal in need and just shrug off negative comments such as yours.. Too many people tend to just look away.
Glenn M. Muller August 01, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Just because you don't agree with my opinion, that doesn't make my comment negative. Feeding wild turkeys is illegal in many New Jersey towns for obvious reasons. You are clearly so convinced that your behavior is appropriate to consider that you're not really helping. That turkey is not your pet!

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