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Two sisters rescue wayward Thanksgiving turkey in Kenmore

Two Kenmore sisters, on their way home from Thanksgiving dinner, found some leftovers in an unexpected place -- on the side of the road. 

The turkey wasn’t frozen or cooked either, it was alive. The girls trapped it and brought it home.

Now the big question is, where did the free-roaming fowl come from? An expert at the Roster Haus Rescue said the found turkey is an industry bird.  That means its sole purpose of being hatched is to be eventually killed and eaten.  

It’s common for them to fall off of a truck headed for slaughter. The Rooster Haus Rescue also said it’s very common for those kinds of birds to get dumped in residential areas this time of year after families buy them as chicks from farm and feed stores but can’t bring themselves to turn it into Thanksgiving dinner when it’s older.

Savanna Cox says her sister Hayley spotted the bird on the road’s shoulder.

“I was driving,” said Savanna. 

Hayley Cox added, “And I just yelled turkey!”

At first, Savanna thought her sister saw someone’s dinner that accidentally fell out of the car while driving.  Then she looked at the shoulder and saw the bird’s stark white feathers.

“We just originally stopped over just to glance at it and be like ‘Oh, that’s cool’ but then when we noticed a little closer and saw it was frightened,” said Hayley.

The sisters pulled over on 35th Avenue Northeast near Northeast 202nd Street in Lake Forest Park and dug out a blanket.  Both are bird lovers, with Hayley owning some chickens, so they immediately swooped in to help.

“It was pretty calm about letting me approach it so I just slowly tried to get up behind it, put the blanket over it so it wasn’t scared and I had to muscle it over to the car. They’re pretty heavy,” said Savanna.

Their dad said the bird felt like it was about 30 pounds when he lifted it, but his daughters say it still looked small so they named it Thumbelina. 

They don’t know if it’s a male or female, but say the name will stick.  The family won’t keep the bird and are trying to find a new forever home for it, either with a family or at a sanctuary. 

The sisters say they already don’t eat birds but their family does, and Tumbelina’s visit may change what the Cox family has for dinner next Thanksgiving.

“We just had mac and cheese but come next year I think we’ll have a longer discussion about whether or not there should be a turkey on Thanksgiving,” the Cox sisters said.

Thumbelina is also in the middle of molting, so it looks like she’s losing feathers but it’s just making room for thicker winter feathers to grow in. 

The Rooster Haus also said there is a myth that industry birds like Thumbelina don’t live very long.  Those experts say industry birds can live long happy lives with a healthy diet and dietary restrictions. 

Please inquire with KIRO 7 to contact the Cox family if Thumbelina is your pet that got loose, or if you want to add the turkey to your family.