Veterinarians Save Turkey Shot With an Arrow

While a sense of gratitude may be in short supply among turkeys come late November, one lucky bird in particular has plenty to be thankful for. For the last several weeks, witnesses near Davis, California had reported seeing a wild turkey roaming the region with an arrow protruding from its posterior. Now, the well-being of one turkey might not seem like much considering how many will be eaten later this week, but that didn't stop local wildlife agents and veterinarians from stepping up to save it.

Reports first came in of an arrow-totting turkey roaming the Davis region on Halloween, but it wasn't until late last week that agents from the Department of Fish and Game were able to track it down and capture it using a net-gun. From there, they transported the bird to the nearby UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, reports the Sacramento Bee:

Through X-rays, Michelle Hawkins, associate professor of veterinary medicine, determined that the arrow had penetrated only the soft tissue, missing vital organs.

Veterinarians anesthetized the turkey and removed a target arrow, which differs from a razor-sharp hunting arrow. Antibiotics were given to the turkey, and after he could stand on his own, he was released. Captivity is stressful to wild birds.

Although hunting wild turkey isn't illegal in California, officials say that the bird was shot illegally outside hunting season, and with a practice arrow, which is also illegal.

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