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Globe and Mail - Oct 5, 1978, Thursday - pg.# P.5 - By Donald Grant.
2 Thanksgiving gobblers won't be gobbled up
Bernice Inman has two turkeys, but neither will be served up for Thanksgiving dinner.
Mrs. Inman, who has been operating Roy Ivor's bird sanctuary in Mississauga for a decade, believes one of them may be a wild turkey, a species considered extinct for years in the province.
The other is a domestically raised tom found in Mississauga yesterday by the Ontario Humane Society. It is believed to have escaped from a truck headed towards a Toronto market.
Several weeks ago someone reported a strange bird walking down Eglinton Avenue West in Mississauga. It was caught by a humane society officer and taken to Mrs. Inman's sanctuary at Dundas Street and Mississauga Road.
The girl (from the society) thought it was a peahen, Mrs. Inman said yesterday. But when I saw it, I realized it was a wild turkey. She said wild turkeys died out in Ontario, but a few efforts have been made to re-establish them.
They have been released at several points in the province in recent years in an attempt to re-introduce the game bird here. The releases of the birds have not been too successful and have not been publicized because of the fear of poachers. Similar experiments in Western Canada have been more successful.
Mrs. Inman, who has about 100 injured birds at the sanctuary for medical care, said wild turkeys are slow fliers and sit on low branches at night. People with guns could get them easily.
The bird has pale blue feathers on its head and neck, and otherwise has a copper or greenish color, depending on the light.
The wild birds don't have much meat on them. In fact, it's a good thing for the pioneers that they were plentiful. This one doesn't have much on her - a 15-pound domestic turkey has more meat. The wild turkey eggs are much smaller - about one-third the size - with very fine spots. Like the ones she's laid.
Mrs. Inman said she plans to keep the wild turkey for a while because she'd be more trouble out there (in the wild) than in here.
She hopes yesterday's new arrival, the domestic bird, will have the luck of another turkey that was at her sanctuary briefly. I found a family that wanted it for their farm, but not to kill. Perhaps they'll take this one too.
John Shannon, supervisor of wildlife services in the Natural Resources Ministry, said he doubted that Mrs. Inman's wild turkey is wild. But he admitted that he couldn't tell a wild turkey from a domestic one. I've never seen a wild turkey that I know of.
Mr. Shannon said the supposed wild turkeys of Pennsylvania are probably the most scary, wary birds in existence. Hunters from here who go down there can hear them, but they don't get near one.
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