SALEM, Pa. (KDKA) — A small community in Westmoreland County is upset after a girl’s beloved turkey was shot and killed due to Pennsylvania Game Commission law.
He was the star attraction in the little Village of Salem.READ MORE: 'The Neighborhood Jewel': Community Fights To Save St. Philip School In Crafton From Closing
“Everyone loved it,” Josh Nuttall, the turkey’s raiser, said. “They’d get their picture taken with it.”
Nuttall, 35, dubbed the not-so-wild turkey, Butterball. The gobbler of great renowned raised as a pet for his daughter, Nixie.
“He pecked at my sparkly shoes,” Nixie said.
By all accounts, Butterball was docile. Video shows the 1-year-old turkey relaxing under the hand of a hometown fan or running around the neighborhood.
“He was well-known in the community,” Nuttall said. “He played basketball with the kids.”
Actually, the bird just watched.READ MORE: Pa. Sen. Bob Casey Sponsors Bill To Protect Children From Falling Furniture
However, someone recently lodged a complaint about beloved Butterball with the state Game Commission. According to Nuttall, the Game Commission then showed up and took out the town’s much-touted turkey.
So why did the Game Commission dispatch dear Butterball?
Well, apparently, you just can’t have a wild turkey as a pet.
“Title 34, Section C” of state game law says it’s unlawful to take or possess any game or wildlife, and that includes wild turkeys.
Nuttall says he understands that Butterball wasn’t a “pet” the eyes of the law, but he was still loved by his little girl, Nixie.
Nuttall says he just wishes the whole situation could have been handled differently.
“It could have been trapped, given to a shelter, taken to a farm,” Nuttall said.MORE NEWS: Giant Eagle, Pittsburgh Steelers Hosting COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic At Heinz Field
The Game Commission, however, said that wasn’t a viable option given game law and procedures.