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Wild turkey makes mad dash for the big city

11/17/2006

NEW YORK — Perhaps attempting to escape a Thanksgiving Day fate, a small wild turkey made a dash for the big city.

The 10-pound female bird wandered onto a busy bridge's toll plaza Tuesday afternoon, halting traffic for about 15 minutes as workers chased the fowl.

No one knew how the turkey got onto the Triborough Bridge, which connects the boroughs of Manhattan, Queens and the Bronx.

City officials received a call that there was a loose bird just before the start of the evening rush hour, and six officers chased it around the Manhattan toll plaza.

"Watching it unfold on our cameras, it seemed the only thing missing was someone playing 'Turkey in the Straw,'" said Triborough Bridge General Operations Manager Ray Bush.

The frightened turkey skittered back and forth across the plaza, evading capture for 15 minutes. Bridge officers finally cornered it, and a construction worker snatched it.

The turkey was released into a wooded area on nearby Wards Island, which has acres of open land inhabited by pheasants, rabbits, squirrels and chipmunks.